Tristan Deschenes 03/22/2019
The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Saint Mary’s Gaels 61-57. The defending National Champions used offense and tough defense down the stretch to hold off the Gaels.
Saint Mary’s entered the NCAA tournament coming off an upset to win a conference title game against Gonzaga.
Saint Mary’s was led by Malik Fitts and Jordan Ford who finished the game with 13 points each.
Saint Mary’s made it interesting at the end. The Gaels forced a couple turnovers and gave themselves a chance to cut the lead to one with 20 seconds left. However, they couldn’t convert and Villanova was able to hold on.
Villanova seniors Eric Paschall and Phil Booth played well offensively. Paschall scored 14 points. Booth always got a basket when the Wildcats needed it, finishing with 20 points.
Villanova Coach Jay Wright talked about the importance of having his two seniors Eric Paschall and Phil Booth in the tournament saying, “We have two seniors who do everything for us both on and off the court.”
He also gave credit to Saint Mary’s. “They are good.” he said, “They are so impressive to play against….very well coached.”