Nov. 18, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. - A record-setting 3-point shooting display led by senior co-captain and Philadelphia native John Griffin helped the Bucknell men's basketball team put a major scare into 23rd-ranked Villanova on Sunday night at The Pavilion, but the Wildcats used its superior size down the stretch to come from behind for a 70-64 victory before a sellout crowd of 6,500.
Griffin scored 22 points, setting a career-high for the second game in a row, and he nailed six of Bucknell's school-record 15 3-pointers. The Bison led by eight at halftime and by as many as nine in the second half, and the game was tied at 57 before Scottie Reynolds buried a 3-pointer from the left corner with 3:25 to play to give the Wildcats the lead for good.
Bucknell, which had already beaten three ranked teams since the start of the 2005 season, led for more than 30 of the 40 minutes in the game. Patrick Behan hit four 3-pointers and matched his career high with 16 points, while freshman G.W. Boon nailed three treys and produced a career-high 11.
All told, the Bison went 15-for-31 from the 3-point arc, scoring 45 of its 64 points from long range.
Shane Clark led Villanova with 17 points and 12 rebounds, while Reynolds added 15 points and Dante Cunningham and Reggie Redding 12 each. The Wildcats, who are coached by 1983 Bucknell graduate Jay Wright, outrebounded Bucknell 43-26. They grabbed 20 of those on the offensive glass, several of which were critical down the stretch.
After Griffin's career-high sixth 3-pointer tied the game at 57-all with 3:42 to play, Reynolds tried to drive down the lane but his shot was rejected by Todd O'Brien. The carom came right to Clark, however, and he spotted Reynolds running to the left corner for the go-ahead 3-pointer.
After Griffin missed a 3-pointer at the other end, Villanova took its first multi-possession lead of the night with 1:54 left on a third-chance bucket by Redding, who was a former high school teammate of Griffin at St. Joseph's Prep.
Behan had a 3-pointer rim out, then Villanova drained the shot clock and Clark found Cunningham with a backdoor feed for a slam dunk with 1:01 to play.
Stephen Tyree hit Bucknell's record-breaking 15th 3-pointer of the night to bring the Bison within 64-60, but Villanova went 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final 43 seconds to secure the verdict.
Behan's 3-pointer just 55 seconds into the second half gave Bucknell its largest lead of nine points at 38-29, but Reynolds and Clark hit back-to-back threes to start a 9-0 run. Clark's layup at the 16:09 mark tied it at 38 before Behan canned another trey to put Bucknell back in front.
Five straight points by Boon put the Bison ahead 48-43 with 10:52 to play, but Villanova responded with eight straight points and took its first lead since 13-11 on Redding's jumper with 8:36 left.
Bucknell played a terrific opening 20 minutes and took a 35-27 halftime lead on Darryl Shazier's runner in the lane at the buzzer.
Nine of Bucknell's 12 first-half field goals came from beyond the arc, five of them from Griffin, who was absolutely unconscious. He scored 17 first-half points, and his back-to-back treys gave the Bison their first eight-point lead of the night at 25-17 with 6:03 to play in the half.
Villanova answered with eight straight points, pulling even on Malcolm Grant's driving layup with 3:46 left. Bucknell finished the half on a 10-2 run, however. Griffin answered Grant's basket with a deep, contested 3-pointer to put the Bison back on top 28-25. Behan picked up a loose ball in the paint and layed it in for a five-point lead, and after Casiem Drummond missed two free throws, Griffin canned his fifth 3-pointer of the night to make it 33-25.
Redding made two from the line with 29 seconds left, but after the two teams traded turnovers, Shazier drove almost the length of the floor, pushing in a floater in the key at the buzzer to restore Bucknell's eight-point lead at the break.
Bucknell shot 43.1 percent from the field and had 17 assists on 22 field goals. Villanova shot 43.6 percent overall, 27.3 percent (6-22) from the arc and outscored the Bison 16-5 from the free-throw line.
The previous school record for 3-pointers in a game was 14, set in 1993 against Loyola (Md.) in Davis Gym.
Now 2-1 on the season, Bucknell has six days off before traveling to Wagner next Saturday at 2 p.m.