Wildcats drop regular-season finale, 54-52. Despite falling behind, 38-21 at the half, the Villanova Wildcats (16-5) had a chance to pull off the comeback over the Providence Friars (13-12). In what was essentially a meaningless game, Villanova was in a position to pull off the upset.
Nova tied it at 52-52 with 15.8 seconds remaining, The Friars pushed it to 54-52. One final chance remained and Eric Dixon fired three lengths of the floor inbound pass to Jeremiah Robison-Earl who put up a three-pointer that clanged off the rim as time elapsed.
“We’ve had teams where you miss the layups, you miss the free throws, but you find a way at the end,” Wright said. “We get a rebound there at the end, we force a miss and we don’t get the rebound. We would have had the last shot of the game. They’re the little things that bother us.”
One of the issues of playing a “meaningless” game is the risk of injury. With playmaker, Collin Gillespie sitting on the bench with a bulky brace, the last thing the Wildcats needed was another injury and especially not one to another guard.
Justin Moore suffered what was termed a “sprained ankle” and was forced to leave the proceedings. Two injured guards and a four-game road losing streak is certainly not the way you want to enter the tournament. Robinson-Earl, despite his miss, scored 11 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. Jermaine Samuels led the visitors with 21 points. For Providence, Nate Watson drained 14 first-half points and 20 for the game.
David Duke matched the 20 point performance. Villanova waits to see who they play to open the Tournament on Thursday. Wildcats drop regular-season finale, 54-52.