Anthony Crater blew by Dominic Cheek to score the go ahead layup with 5 seconds left as the University of South Florida Bulls came back to stun the Villanova Wildcats 70-60. It was really a meltdown on the part of Nova who held a four point lead with less than a minute left, but missed free throws, poor defense & an inexplicable turnover combined to sink the Wildcats.
Maalik Wayns, who led Villanova with 24 points tonight, made an unthinkable mistake with Villanova up by one with :25 left. He threw an inbound pass directly to Anthony Crater, who took an easy layup to give the Bulls a lead. Wayns would atone for his mistake by taking the ball to the rim and drawing a foul on the ensuing possession. He’d hit both his shots and restored Villanova’s one point lead. But then, disaster struck again when Crater ran the ball down the court, blew by Cheek and scored what would be the game winner with s seconds left.
Corey Fisher was taken off the floor for the final defensive possession, so he wasn’t on the court to take the final shot.. So it was Wayns who sprinted down the court and actually got a decent look, but couldn’t get it to fall as Villanova’s late season nightmare continued.
Villanova led this game by 16 at halftime, which makes USF’s comeback the largest halftime deficit ever overcome in a Big East tournament game. The Wildcats have now lost 5 straight and while they still look likely to get in the NCAA tourney, it’s going to be hairy on selection sunday.