January 27, 2013

After loss, Orange would rather not be in Philadelphia

Villanova is the second Philly team to knock off No. 3 Syracuse, ending its eight-game win streak.

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Syracuse might want to scrub Philadelphia teams from the schedule.

Darrun Hilliard
click image to enlarge

Villanova’s Darrun Hilliard slashes to the hoop during the Wildcats’ 75-71 overtime win Saturday against Syracuse at Philadelphia.

The Associated Press

In December, a loss to Temple.

On Saturday, a loss to Villanova.

Even worse for the third-ranked Orange, they were seconds away from a ninth straight victory.

Ryan Arcidiacono spoiled those plans with the tying 3-pointer with 2.2 seconds left in regulation, and James Bell hit consecutive 3s in overtime to send Villanova to its second win over a Top 5 team this week, 75-71.

The Wildcats defeated No. 5 Louisville 73-64 on Tuesday and became the first unranked team to beat two Top 5 teams in the same season since Florida State in 2011-12, according to STATS LLC.

Brandon Triche led the Orange (18-2, 6-1 Big East) with 23 points and Michael Carter-Williams added 17.

"We couldn't get going offensively for a long time," Coach Jim Boeheim said. "We hung in there and battled."

The Wildcats (13-7, 4-3) took advantage of Syracuse's rough night from the field.

Arcidiacono's 3-point attempt to tie with about 25 seconds left in regulation was off the mark. Carter-Williams missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and JayVaughn Pinkston of the Wildcats grabbed the rebound.

Bell missed a 3 and Mouphtaou Yarou grabbed the offensive rebound. Syracuse decided not to foul, giving Yarou time to kick it out to Arcidiacono. He let go with a leaner from just beyond the 3-point line to tie the game at 61, force overtime and send the crowd of 18,273 into a frenzy.

"I just put it up and luckily it went in," Arcidiacono said. "I think we're having fun."

The Wildcats may not be ranked in next week's AP Top 25 poll, but they have worked their way into NCAA tournament consideration.

"What a week for us," Coach Jay Wright said.

What an understatement.

Philadelphia's college fans came down with a case of court-storming fever this week after Villanova's win over Louisville and La Salle's 54-53 win the next night over No. 9 Butler. At the Wells Fargo Center, home of the NHL's Flyers, the fans made it a Philly hoops hat trick, rushing the court in celebration of perhaps the biggest regular-season week in Villanova history.

With the Orange down two points in overtime, Triche made one free throw with 46.5 seconds left.

Bell followed with a layup for a 71-68 lead and the Wildcats (13-7, 4-3) held on from the free-throw line.

"It stinks but hopefully we play them again in the Big East tournament," Carter-Williams said.

 

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