Villanova sinks No. 5 Louisville with late charge
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Villanova used 15 points from Ryan Arcidiacono and a stifling overall defensive effort to hand reeling Louisville a 73-64 loss in a Big East matchup from the Wells Fargo Center.
JayVaughn Pinkston added 11 points and six rebounds for the Wildcats (12-7, 3-3 Big East), who outscored the fifth-ranked Cardinals 20-11 over the final four minutes to end a streak of three straight conference losses.
After falling out of the top spot in the polls following Saturday's narrow home loss to Syracuse, Louisville (16-3, 4-2) were held to just 39.7 percent shooting from the field and committed 17 turnovers to receive a second straight setback following an 11-game win streak.
Wayne Blackshear paced the Cardinals with 17 points, while Peyton Siva netted 15 along with a career-high 13 assists and Gorgui Dieng compiled 10 points and nine rebounds.
A tightly contested second half saw the teams tied at 53-53 with under 4 1/2 minutes to go, before the Wildcats took control with strong play on both ends down the stretch.
Achraf Yacoubou's 3-pointer at the 3:57 mark broke the deadlock, and James Bell followed with a triple of his own to stake Villanova to a 59-53 lead.
Siva scored on the ensuing possession to close the gap to four points, but Mouphtaou Yarou hit 1-of-2 from the line for the Wildcats and Arcidiacono made both of his free throws after being fouled following a Siva turnover to make it a 62-55 game with 1:47 left.
Villanova, which went 22-of-29 from the charity stripe on the night, then sealed the victory by sinking all 10 of its foul-shot attempts in the final minute.
The Cardinals started out slowly as well, missing nine of their first 11 field goal tries and falling behind by a 14-7 count following an 8-0 Villanova burst over a near four-minute stretch. A triple by the Wildcats' Tony Chennault shortly afterward put the hosts ahead by double-digits at 23-13 with eight minutes left in the first half.
Louisville bounced back, however, with Stephan Van Treese's 3-point play igniting a 12-0 flurry that sent the Cardinals back in front with just over 4 1/2 minutes left until intermission.
Villanova would head into the break with a 30-28 edge following Pinkston's successful jumper with nine seconds on the clock, and the game continued to be nip-and-tuck over the entirety of the second half.
A 14-3 run capped by a Behanan dunk staked Louisville to a 48-42 lead with 11 minutes left, and the Cardinals were up 52-46 with 8:25 to play before Villanova ripped off seven straight points. Daniel Ochefu tipped in an Arcidiacono miss with 5:51 remaining to send the Wildcats back in front by a 53-52 score.
Siva's previous career high for assists was 12, set in a win over Florida International on Dec. 19 ... Villanova is now 10-2 when holding the opposition to 70 points or less this season ... The Wildcats finished 7-of-15 from 3- point range, improving to 9-0 on the season when making six or more treys in a game ... Russ Smith, Louisville's leading scorer with an average of 19.3 points per game, was held to just eight on 2-of-13 shooting ... Cardinals head coach Rick Pitino fell to 7-9 all-time against Villanova.
01/22 23:23:30 ET