College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 19, 2011
With Top 25 teams tumbling all around them, Corey Fisher and Mouphtaou Yarou lifted #15 Villanova to a hard-earned road win over a determined DePaul squad, 77-75, in overtime.
Fisher scored a game-high and career high 34 points, hitting 5 of 8 3-pointers, including one with six seconds left in regulation, sending the game into overtime. Fisher was 11-for-18 from the field, 7 of 9 from the foul line with 5 rebounds and three steals.
While the senior guard was handling most of the scoring duties, sophomore center Yarou was cleaning the glass, handling 8 offensive and 7 defensive rebounds, and scoring 12 points, primarily on put-backs. It was Yarou's 5th double-double of the season, and came at a most opportune time for the Wildcats, who improved to 21-6 overall and 9-5 in the Big East, good for a tie for 4th place with Louisville and St. John's in America's most contentious conference.
NOTABLE: While Villanova escaped from DePaul with a win, other teams weren't so lucky on a Saturday full of surprises. At Madison Square Garden, the plucky St. John's Red Storm pulled off the upset of the day when Dwight Hardy tossed in an impossible scoop shot with 2 seconds left in the game, lifting the Red Storm to a 60-59 victory over Big East-leading Pitt. The win was the 5th straight conference triumph and seventh straight home victory for St. John's, surely the surprise team of the year.
#8 Notre Dame, second in the Big East, got a rude welcome from the Mountaineers in West Virginia, suffering a 72-58 loss.
The other major upset came from the Big 12, where Nebraska defended their home court with a 70-67 win over #3 Texas. The Longhorns had not lost in 11 conference games this season. Texas remains one game ahead of Kansas (10-2), easy winners at home over Colorado.