Millard shines in loss to No.3 Villanova

Freshman scored a career-high 11 points in Thurday night's action at sold-out Freedom Hall

After making a few starts, including at Miami last Saturday, Chad Millard found himself as a reserve when third-ranked Villanova and it's four-guard offense visited a sold-out Freedom Hall on Thursday night. However, unlike like scoreless effort in the 58-43 win at Miami, the 6-foot-8 freshman played over 20 minutes and became a factor in the Cards first Big East Conference action.

"I just understand my role on the team and I'm getting used to how everything works in practice," Millard said following the 76-67 loss. "I was a shooter in high school, so tonight I just took some open shots and they went in."

The first-year Cardinal scored 11 points, while also grabbing 3 rebounds. He also recorded a block and a steal, while not committing a turnover against an aggressive Villanova defense.

Millard said that despite the loss, he believes that he and fellow freshmen Bryan Harvey, Andre McGee and Terrence Williams, showed that they are capable of playing against the players in the land.

"We were trying to go out there and produce and do what we had to do to keep the game close going into halftime," he said. "I think we did a good job of that – we were only down six at halftime. I think that when we are on the floor, we don't really think about who we're playing…we're just trying to get the job done."

Even more impressive with senior Taquan Dean sitting on the bench due to early and questionable foul trouble.

"It's never good to have our leader on the bench for most of the first half," he continued. "I think we were happy that it was so close, but at the same time, Villanova is a great team and we were just trying to win the game."

Millard, who's 11 points marked a new career high, believes that the experience of playing as team as talented as Villanova will help give the team the confidence that they can play with the nation's elite.

"It was great to play against Villanova," he said. "They are a really good team. The tape doesn't justify how quick they are. They were definitely a quick team. Their guards get up and down real quick and have quick hands."

"I think this showed us that we can play with a team that is ranked third in the country, because there has been speculation of how good we really are," Millard continued. "I think that as we grow and mature as a team that we will become a lot better and be able to win games that are close down the stretch like this one was."

He added that the difficult baptism into Big East Conference play will help when the team travels to Rhode Island to face a Providence (7-5) team that fell at Georgetown in it's conference opener.

"It helps us know that every Big East game is a struggle," he said. "It doesn't matter if you are down two or if you are down twelve, teams are going to make runs. Basketball is a game of runs and we have to now get focused on Providence and going in there to try and get the win."

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