40 minutes was not nearly enough to decide this game. There would be no 30 point blowouts either. This game came down to literally the last second as LaDontae Henton got a clean look at a game tying 3 at the buzzer of the second overtime. Henton was the hero at the end of regulation to tie the game and push it into overtime. But before that he had one of his worst games of the year.
Cotton got off to a slow start, only scoring 4 first half points but the Friars were able to take the game to halftime tied at 33 behind a strong 13 point first half from Josh Fortune who looked very confident at times yet still made some basic mistakes and boneheaded turnovers. Cotton ended up leading the team and all scorers with 22 points. He also had 9 assists. Harris was ok and had his first career double double (15 pts, 12 rebs) but too many plays that left you scratching your head (or throwing things at the television, whatever your preference). Batts had a strong game and scored 21 points and 11 boards before fouling out on the game winning and 1 layup by Ryan Arcidiacono (though you wouldn’t know that’s his last name if you listened to Dick Stockton and Gary Williams on FS1). Villanova was pretty poor at their opportunities at the end of regulation and the first overtime in terms of the shot they got after (presumably) drawing up a play and if not for a poor switch by Batts and Cotton on a ball screen, Nova may have whiffed on a 3 straight opportunity to end the game.
There are no moral victories but the Friars left it all on the court. They really needed this one but aren’t dead just yet. They probably need these next 4 games (3 on the road including at Creighton for their senior night) or 3 and 1 or 2 wins in the BE tournament. Just go 1-0 today. Butler up next at Hinkle on Sunday.
Stay strong Friartown and keep the faith.