No. 8 Villanova on the rebound against Furman
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
VILLANOVA, Pa. -- For the first time this season, No. 8 Villanova will play a game coming off a loss.
Villanova, which began the season with convincing wins over Morgan State and Quinnipiac, were trounced 73-46 at home by No. 18 Michigan on Wednesday.
Villanova (2-1) will try to rebound against nonconference opponent Furman on Saturday at Finneran Pavilion.
"For us, part of it is my fault," Villanova coach Jay Wright said after the 27-point loss to Michigan. "We're not as organized as we want to be. We're trying to find a lineup in the early season. When you play a good team like that, it doesn't look good. We were too disorganized out there to play a team like that."
Villanova's two senior leaders -- Eric Paschall (10 points) and Phil Booth (nine points) -- had surprisingly subpar games against Michigan.
Wright said he expects his talented duo to improve against the Paladins.
"We just didn't have that cohesiveness that you have to have against good teams," Wright said. "Phil and Eric felt the pressure to get it going because we weren't in sync. They're too good a defensive team for that. They read that and did a great job of attacking Eric."
The Wildcats committed an uncharacteristic 21 turnovers against Michigan's pressure defense, which wasa drastic change from last season's national championship game. They defeated Michigan by 17 points for their second national title in three seasons.
But Villanova is still coping with the loss of four key players to the NBA -- guards Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo along with forwards Mikal Bridges and Omari Spellman.
Furman will attempt to advance to 5-0 for the first time since the 1987-88 season.
The Paladins moved to 4-0 with a 107-67 win over North Greenville on Thursday behind a 54-point effort from junior Jordan Lyons.
Lyons tied an NCAA Division I record with 15 made 3-pointers to become the first to accomplish the feat since Kentucky's Jodie Meeks had 54 points in 2009. Lyons was 15 of 34 from beyond the arc and 9 of 12 from the free throw line. Lyons is averaging 25 points per game.
"What a surreal night," Lyons told reporters after the 54-point effort. "I'm so fortunate and so blessed to be here in this situation and I want to thank God for the talents that he's blessed me with. It means a lot to be around teammates and coaches who believe in me and have confidence in my abilities."
Lyons' 54 points ranked as the eighth highest in program history. He became the first Furman player to score at least 50 points since Dick Esleeck in 1969.
In addition, senior Matt Rafferty is averaging 19.0 points and 8.3 rebounds and sophomore Clay Mounce is chipping in with 12.8 points per game this season for the Paladins.
This will be just the second meeting between the schools. Furman defeated Villanova 77-73 in overtime on Dec. 23, 1989, at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium.
Updated November 17, 2018