DL – Junior James Bell drilled a 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in the game, but Villanova’s stunning 65-61 come-from-behind victory over the Hawks wasn’t secure until the Wildcats forced a turnover and Bell hit two free throws with 2.4 ticks remaining. “It was a very good win for us,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I think we learned a lot from this.” Saint Joe’s forward Halil Kanacevic learned a lot, too. Do not mess with the basketball gods. The 6-8 junior forward was in the middle of the SJU meltdown; some would even say he was largely responsible for it. The Hawks’ troubles began when Kanacevic made a gesture toward the Villanova student section after he drained a 3-pointer to break a 47-47 deadlock with 9:50 to play in the game. Kanacevic held up three fingers as he backed down the court and then dropped two fingers. That brought the docile Main Line crowd to life, especially the student section, which let Kanacevic hear it every time he touched the ball or was involved in the play in away way the rest of the game. Neither Wright nor Saint Joe’s coach Phil Martelli saw what happened, but referees Ed Corbett and John Gaffney did speak with Kanacevic after reviewing the play on tape. What was said is not known, but Bell said Kanacevic was clearly rattled by the reception he received from the Villanova faithful the rest of the game. Kanacevic had a chance to push the lead back to three when he was fouled by Ochefu with 45 seconds left, but the bad vibes kept going his way. He missed both. Kanacevic had a chance to redeem himself on an inbounds play with three seconds left, but this wasn’t his night. To avoid a five-second violation, Kanacevic threw the ball off of Villanova’s Maurice Sutton only to have it bounce back and off his thigh.
St. Joe’s: talk to your boy. Not sure how you’re gonna do that since he apparently deleted his Twitter after the game, but somebody needs to straighten his brain out. Halil Kanacevic overdosed HARD on his own flavor after his only made bucket of the night, and while the 3-point fingers turning into double birds is kind of a badass move, missing two crucial FTs, putting your rival on the line, and imbounding the ball off your own leg to seal the loss is not quite as badass.
You know how some things in the heat of the game which seem big are eventually forgotten as the larger story unravels? Yeah, that’s definitely not what happened last night. The dude who double flips off The Pavilion after his only make of the game before bricking game-winning FTs doesn’t get forgotten.
PS – Jay Wright was so happy after the game he impregnated every female athlete on campus. At least that’s what I heard from my friend who is REAL TIGHT with the AD staff.