Final OT

(10) West Virginia 68

(24-6, 13-5 Big East)

(9) Villanova 66

(24-6, 13-5 Big East)

    12:00 PM ET, March 6, 2010

    Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

    1 2 OT T
    #10WVU 16 44 868
    #9VILL 29 31 666

    Top Performers

    West Virginia: D. Butler 21 Pts, 10 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

    Villanova: S. Reynolds 17 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast

    Butler's 21 points, clutch basket in OT help send West Virginia past Nova

    Associated Press

    PHILADELPHIA -- Some situations conjure up great images. Even if they don't happen.

    West Virginia had just played its worst half of the season against Villanova on Saturday. Those who know the coaching techniques of Bob Huggins would expect him to put on a tremendous display in the locker room as he tries to right his team in the last game of the regular season.


    There was no chair throwing, no wild tirade discussing the horrible offensive effort of the first half. There wasn't even a raised voice.

    Fast Facts

    • West Virginia made its case toward a potential No. 1 seed with its fifth win in six games.

    •  Villanova's offense continued to struggle as it was held under 80 for the eighth straight game.

    • Villanova, which took a 15-2 lead, is 4-5 in its last nine Big East games after starting 9-0 in conference play.

    • It wasn't the prettiest of games as the teams combined for 47 fouls, 32 turnovers and 39 field goals (39-for-101, 38.6 percent).

    • Da'Sean Butler led all scorers with 21 points and had 10 rebounds. Scottie Reynolds had 17 for Villanova, but was 1-for-8 from 3-point range.

    -- ESPN Stats & Information

    "He didn't go nuts. I was surprised," Da'Sean Butler said of his coach, who did get a technical foul in the second half. "I said to myself, 'I don't know how he expects us to come back with him sitting there and talking regularly."

    There might be a new halftime attitude in Morgantown as the Mountaineers (No. 8 ESPN/USA Today, No. 10 AP) rallied from that ugly first half to beat No. 9 Villanova 68-66 in overtime.

    "I told the guys at halftime 'I don't know if we can play any worse," Huggins said.

    The turnaround was quick.

    Trailing 29-16 at halftime after a poor shooting trifecta of 24 percent from the field (6 of 25), 16.7 percent on 3s (2 of 12) and 20 percent from the free throw line (2 of 10), the Mountaineers opened the second half with an 18-5 run to tie the game. They managed to score as many points as they did in the first half by 6:23 into the second.

    "We've done it all year but I don't think I can take any more of these kind," Huggins said. "If there's such a thing as making people overconfident we're the masters at it, but our guys compete."

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    Butler scored 21 points, including the decisive basket with 5.8 seconds left in overtime, grabbed 10 rebounds and finished 13 of 14 from the foul line for the Mountaineers (24-6, 13-5), who will be the No. 3 seed in next week's Big East tournament.

    Villanova, which has lost four of its last six games, would be the No. 2 seed if Rutgers beats Pittsburgh later Saturday, and the Wildcats would be No. 4 if the Panthers win.

    Butler's winning drive came after the Mountaineers had taken possession with 26 seconds left when Villanova was forced into a 35-second shot clock violation.

    "I looked right at [Jonnie West] and saw him open a little in the corner but Scottie [Reynolds] jumped right in the passing lane so that was my first step," Butler said. "Then I looked at Kevin Jones and he was open but the guy on me dropped right back off. So I was in air, pulled up, put in on the glass and I prayed. The angle it hit the backboard I knew it was in."

    Reynolds, who led the Wildcats (14-6, 13-5) with 17 points, had an open 3-point attempt from the corner but it bounced off the rim as the buzzer sounded.

    "Butler made a hell of a running bank shot," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "Reggie Redding found Scottie at the end, he just didn't make it. It's the Big East. Now we just have to get ready for Thursday."

    Villanova forced overtime when Corey Fisher made his only 3-point attempt of the game with 7.7 seconds to play to make it 60-60. Huggins was signaling wildly for a timeout but none of the officials saw it -- it was pretty loud in the Wachovia Center -- and the Mountaineers settled on a long 3-point attempt by Devin Ebanks that missed everything.

    Wellington Smith had 15 points -- 13 after halftime -- for West Virginia, which has won five of six. Ebanks had 12.

    Fisher had 12 points for the Wildcats, who missed their season low for points by one despite playing an extra 5 minutes and were held 18 points below their season average that leads the Big East.

    West Virginia, the Big East's top defensive team allowing 64.8 points on average, did an exceptional job on Reynolds, the Wildcats' leading scorer at 18.9 points per game. The 6-foot-2 senior finished 5 of 16 from the field, including 1 of 9 from 3-point range, struggling throughout against West Virginia's taller guards who all had a chance to cover him.

    "They just had a hand in my face and they're very long," Reynolds said. "It was two great teams battling each other. They just made another play better than we did."

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 68 66
    FG Made-Attempted 21-54 (.389) 18-47 (.383)
    3P Made-Attempted 8-24 (.333) 6-20 (.300)
    FT Made-Attempted 18-28 (.643) 24-35 (.686)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 24 (0/0) 24 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 3 14

    2009-10 Season

    Feb 8, 2010 VILL 82, @WVU 75Recap
    » Mar 6, 2010 WVU 68, @VILL 66Recap