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Villanova 77, VCU 53

Alan Draper profile picture
Sports Editor
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BROOKLYN, N.Y. — VCU prides itself on wreaking havoc, but it was the Villanova Wildcats who played a helter-skelter brand of basketball in the semifinals of the Progressive Legends Classic Monday at the Barclays Center.

Villanova used a massive second-half blitz to turn back VCU 77-53

The loss was the worst for VCU since a 71-51 decision to George Mason on February 5th, 2011.

Forward Jay Vaughn Pinkston led No. 12 Villanova (4-0) with 15 points, guard Darrun Hilliard scored 14 points and forward Kris Jenkins had 13. Guard Josh Hart scored 10 points of the bench.

No. 14 VCU (3-1) was paced by guard Melvin Johnson and Briante Weber, who scored 13 points each.

The Wildcats play the winner of the Michigan-Oregon game in Tuesday’s final.

The Wildcats shut down one of the country’s best offensive teams. VCU was averaging 92.7 points until they were stymied by Villanova’s man-to-man approach.

Coach Jay Wright’s team turned VCU’s high-scoring backcourt tandem into non-factors. Senior Treveon Graham and Johnson were averaging 18 points apiece for the Rams, but ended the night with four and 13 points, respectively.

VCU opened the second half with a 6-0 run to move ahead 36-32, then the Wildcats went on a 16-0 burst to re-take the lead 48-36 with just under four minutes gone in the half.

Hilliard and Kris Jenkins contributed five points apiece in the run. The Rams couldn’t recover.

NOTES: This was the eighth game VCU played at the Barclays Center, the host of the Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament. … The Rams scored 85 or more points in each of their first three games for only the second time in school history. … The Rams have led the country in steals per game for three straight seasons. … Villanova was a unanimous selection to finish first in Big East Conference in the preseason voting by the coaches.

Alan is an experienced writer of online betting and casino guides. He is one of the main editors of Basketballinsiders.

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