Take a look at Villanova’s attacking numbers in a vacuum and it would be hard to believe that these numbers reflect the winning score.
But in a defensive back-to-back battle between the No. 2 wildcat and the fifth-seeded Houston Cougar, the trifles seemed more important than they suggested. After 40 minutes, and apparently a lot of stops and failures, Vilanova came out on top with a 50-44 win that would send him back to the Final Four.
from where we start? Of course, in one.
That’s how many three-pointers Houston has scored in each game. The Cougars missed their other 19 attempts, and averaged 5 percent behind the bow. They fired 29.8 percent from the field.
For a match in which offensive fights were expected, Houston proved fatal. Its top scorer, Taz Moore, scored a double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. But he missed 15 of 21 rounds to get there. Jamal Shedd and Kyler Edwards, the other two members of the Houston backcourt, combined to make 5 of 25 shots, not making any of their 13 three-point attempts.
Villanova, for her part, did not win the beauty. She was held well below her tournament average score (75.5 points in two games).
Jermaine Samuels, a freshman on the 2018 National Championship team, carried the Wildcats with 16 points on 6 of 10 rebounds, as well as 10 rebounds that helped secure possession against a team that typically crushes opponents on the offensive boards. Caleb Daniels gave Vilanova 12 points from the bench, although his shot accuracy (25 percent) was more reflective of the team as a whole.
For her victory, Villanova will not advance unscathed. The second-placed player lost top scorer Justin Moore to an injury during the last minute of the match. Putting it forward is not clear.
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