Cats give it their all in loss

It was a game that Arizona never led, but No. 1 seed Villanova never felt comfortable in. Despite playing 17 miles from Villanova's campus, the Wildcats of Arizona gave the hometown team all they could handle in the 82-78 Villanova win.

Allen Ray made four late free throws to seal the win for Villanova. The player many wondered if he would play at all after an eye injury last weekend, scored a game high 25 points.

Arizona trimmed the lead to two after Randy Foye missed two foul shots and Ivan Radenovic followed his own miss for a lay-in.

The Cats fouled Ray on the next two possessions, answering one set of foul shots with a Mustafa Shakur lay-in.

Ray's second set of foul shots again put Nova up four. Marcus Williams missed a three and Nova corralled the rebound and the win.

Williams was impressive in his first NCAA Tournament. After scoring 10 points against Wisconsin, he answered with 24 to lead the Wildcats.

Philly native Mustafa Shakur was great for the second straight game. He scored 21 points and did everything in his power to keep the Cats in the game.

In his final game in a Wildcat uniform, Hassan Adams scored 20.

Ray and Foye scored 25 and 24 respectively.

It appeared early if Arizona would try to counter the Villanova speed with their size advantage, but the quickness they gave up with two 6-10 post players in the game proved to be too much for Olson and he quickly went to a four-wing line-up mirroring what Nova likes to do.

Arizona played three post players, with only Ivan Radenovic getting on the scoreboard. The junior scored 10 points on 5-11 shooting. Kirk Walters and Bret Brielmaier were held scoreless, playing just spot minutes.

Ironically enough, Villanova played like past Arizona teams did. They won with speed and tempo. In a rarity, Arizona was the slower team and actually played better with the tempo a bit slower.

The real difference was behind the arc. Villanova canned nine threes to Arizona's five. Nova shot 47.4% behind the arc, while the Cats shot at just a 29.4% clip.

The first half was a battle between the outside shooting of Villanova against the inside penetration of Arizona. Randy Foye drained four of his team's six three pointers and finished the half with 20 points. Even when blanketed by an Arizona defender, the All-American was able to find the bottom of the rim.

Villanova hit their first four shots and led 10-4 before a quick Arizona comeback knotted the game at 10. Arizona forced two more ties and kept pace with Nova but never got the lead.

Foye drained a long two at the buzzer, allowing Villanova to take a seven-point lead at the half.

The second half saw Villanova storm out to a 12-point lead only to have Arizona answer with a quick six-point run. Williams drove the lane for a three-point play and Shakur added jumper behind the arc.

Arizona battled and cut the lead to one but promptly surrendered seven straight points to Nova.

Although the Wildcats went over 4:40 without a field goal, they never trailed by more than nine in the stretch and continued to battle down the stretch.

Villanova had their own 4:00 scoreless streak and it was at that time that the Cats battled back to within one possession.


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