Villanova Postgame Blog

March 3, 2009

It was an escape.

 

No two ways about it, what happened Saturday between Georgetown and Villanova was not a pretty game of basketball. The teams combined for 40-plus turnovers, with the Hoyas supplying 25. With the score 52-50 with five minutes remaining, you’d expect a tight finish. What you wouldn’t expect is that four minutes and about fifteen possessions later, you’d be looking at the exact same score. But when the defensive slugfest came to an end, the Hoyas were 56-54 victors. And, fittingly, for all the complaining by Villanova fans about last year’s game—when Corey Stokes was called for a bump on Jon Wallace 80 feet from the basket with 0.1 second remaining in a tied game—this year, they would have been desperate to foul the Georgetown point guard as he pushed the ball up the sideline.

 

While the debate over the merits of 07-08 Jon Wallace vs. 08-09 Chris Wright as the Hoyas’ main facilitator continues, one common theme is that Chris shows a second gear that the walkon from Alabama never had. And it showed Saturday afternoon.

 

With 3.5 seconds left on the clock, Chris did what needed to be done. He escaped.

 

And with that the Hoyas got out of Wachovia with a surprising win. And maybe started their own Great Escape.

 

As a current senior whose Georgetown basketball historical frame of reference is the last three seasons, this year has been a little hard to wrap my head around. Based off previous years, I—and probably the rest of the Class of 2009—figured a Sweet Sixteen was a nice bar to set for the season, challenging for the Big East regular season or Tournament championships a reasonable expectation, and an NCAA Tournament berth a given. 

 

Now that’s all been thrown out the window, I’m trying to find a decent corollary to explain this year. The best one I can think of is—wait for it—Fulham F.C.’s 2007-2008 season in the English Premier League. Entering the last month of the season, the Cottagers had taken only 24 points from 33 matches, managing only four wins and enduring a 12-match winless streak. Relegation to the lower-level Championship was a mathematical near-certainty. And yet, over five weeks, Fulham put together four wins, three away from home, and when Danny Murphy headed home a 76th-minute winner at Portsmouth, Fulham managed to stay up in the Premiership for another season (and probably earned themselves another $60 million in TV revenue, but that’s neither here nor there.)

 

The Great Escape, as the season has come to be known, is not only evidence of the excitement throughout the league when the prospects of being relegated are just as pressing as those of winning a championship—although that’s a discussion for another forum—but proof that on occasion, a team can reverse a bad stretch, grit out a victory (in each victory, the game-winner was scored in the last 15 minutes), and make it back to their rightful spot: the Premier League, or the NCAA Tournament.

 

One further corollary: Over the course of the five-week stretch, had Fulham started Carlos Bocanegra instead of leaving him on the bench, they would have had four Americans in the starting lineup, just like the Hoyas.

 

We’re not there yet. There are a number of things that still must be fixed in the Hoyas’ remaining two games against St. John’s and DePaul. But Saturday afternoon, as we left Wachovia to board the buses back to D.C., visions of turnovers and Wildcat trips to the free-throw line still swirling in my head, only one thing really mattered:

 

We escaped.

Hoya Saxa,
Paul Campbell (MSB 09)
Generation Roy

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August 19
1:00 PM
Virginia
Shaw Field
August 20
W, 4-0
George Washington
Shaw Field

Fox Sports Go
Watch
August 24
7:00 PM
Delaware
Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
Davidson
Cooper Field
August 25
5:00 PM
Howard
Washington, D.C. (at American)
August 26
12:00 PM
Santa Clara
Washington, D.C. (at Howard)
August 26
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C. (at Howard)
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Appalachian State
Cooper Field
August 28
1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
12:30 PM
The Citadel
Arlington, Va. (The Pentagon)
September 1
2:00 PM
Rider
Cooper Field
September 2
10:30 AM
Columbia
Arlington, Va. (Ft. Myer)
September 2
3:30 PM
Army West Point
Arlington, Va. (Ft. Myer)
September 3
4:00 PM
San Jose State
San Jose, Calif.

Mountain West Network
September 3
1:00 PM
Lock Haven
Cooper Field
September 4
12:00 PM
UCLA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
Saint Francis PA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:30 PM
Coppin State vs. Buffalo
McDonough Arena
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 8
7:00 PM
James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 8
All Day
Spiked Shoe Invitational
State College, Pa.
September 8
All Day
Spiked Shoe Invitational
State College, Pa.
September 9
6:00 PM
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 9
11:00 AM
Buffalo vs. James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 9
1:00 PM
Coppin State
McDonough Arena
September 9
4:30 PM
Coppin State vs. James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 9
7:00 PM
Buffalo
McDonough Arena
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 12
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 15
11:00 AM
Arkansas State
Houston, Texas
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 15
4:30 PM
Stephen F. Austin
Houston, Texas
September 15
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 15
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 16
1:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

BEDN
Watch
September 16
11:00 PM
Rice
Houston, Texas
September 16
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 16
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 17
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 17
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 18
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 19
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
Shaw Field
September 20
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 22
3:30 PM
Blue & Gray Intrasquad Meet
McCarthy Pool
September 22
6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
September 22
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.
September 22
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 22
All Day
Battle at Beantown
Boston, Mass.
September 23
1:00 PM
Columbia
New York, N.Y.
September 23
4:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
September 23
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 24
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
September 24
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
September 24
1:00 PM
Longwood
Farmville, Va.
September 24
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 25
All Day
The Patriot Invitational George Mason
The Chantilly National Golf Club - Chantilly, Va.
September 26
All Day
The Patriot Invitational George Mason
The Chantilly National Golf Club - Chantilly, Va.
September 28
4:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
September 29
2:00 PM
Temple
Cooper Field
September 29
5:00 PM
Potomac Relays diving
McCarthy Pool
September 29
5:00 PM
Potomac Relays swimming
Washington, D.C. (American University)
September 29
6:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena
September 29
All Day
Paul Short Run
Bethlehem, Pa.
September 29
All Day
Paul Short Run
Bethlehem, Pa.
September 30
2:00 PM
Harvard
RFK Stadium
September 30
1:00 PM
Marquette
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
September 30
1:00 PM
Delaware/St. Francis Pa.
Newark, Del.
September 30
6:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena
October 1
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Shaw Field
October 1
1:00 PM
LIU Brooklyn
Cooper Field
October 4
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.
October 5
3:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 6
3:00 PM
Butler
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 6
2:00 PM
Liberty
Cooper Field
October 7
1:00 PM
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
October 7
6:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena
October 8
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
October 8
All Day
The Gridiron Classic Notre Dame
The Warren Golf Course - South Bend, Ind.
October 9
1:00 PM
Duke
Shaw Field
October 9
All Day
The Gridiron Classic Notre Dame
The Warren Golf Course - South Bend, Ind.
October 11
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
October 12
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 13
7:30 PM
Villanova
Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
October 13
6:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
October 13
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 13
All Day
Wisconsin Invitational
Madison, Wis.
October 14
12:30 PM
Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa.
October 14
1:00 PM
Towson
McCarthy Pool
October 14
2:00 PM
DePaul
McDonough Arena
October 14
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 14
All Day
Pre-National Meet
Louisville, Ky.
October 15
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
October 15
1:00 PM
Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa.
October 15
2:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena
October 15
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 16
All Day
The Georgetown Intercollegiate
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
October 17
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
October 17
All Day
The Georgetown Intercollegiate
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
October 19
3:00 PM
Marquette
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 19
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 20
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
2:00 PM
Fordham Parents Weekend
Cooper Field
October 21
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 21
12:00 PM
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
October 21
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
October 21
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
Watch
October 22
12:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 23
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 24
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 25
2:00 PM
Providence
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 26
2:00 PM
Xavier
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 27
2:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
October 27
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 28
1:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
October 28
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
Watch
October 28
11:00 AM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
November 1
2:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
November 3
4:00 PM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 3
6:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
2:00 PM
Lafayette Homecoming
Cooper Field
November 4
10:00 AM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 4
6:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 10
6:00 PM
Marquette
Milwuakee, Wis.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 11
12:00 PM
Bucknell
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
November 17
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 17
6:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
November 18
1:00 PM
Colgate Senior Day
Cooper Field
November 18
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 18
6:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena
November 18
All Day
IC4A Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
ECAC Championships
New York, N.Y.