June 18, 2024

Villanova Dominates Memphis in Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Game, 79-63

Credits- cbssports.com

Villanova Dominates Memphis in Battle 4 Atlantis Championship Game, 79-63

In a highly anticipated showdown in Friday evening’s Battle 4 Atlantis championship game, Villanova Wildcats proved too formidable for the Memphis Tigers, as the latter found themselves in an early hole too deep to dig out from, eventually falling 79-63.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

The Tigers (5-1) experienced difficulty right from the onset, nearly losing the opening tip out of bounds – an ominous sign of the struggles that lay ahead. The Wildcats (6-1), on the other hand, wasted no time asserting their dominance. A barrage of six three-pointers within the first eight minutes saw them open the game with a commanding 16-2 lead, while the Tigers remained in single digits until a free throw at the 5:17 mark finally pushed their score to 10.

The Wildcats continued their onslaught, capitalizing on a 12-0 run late in the half to build a staggering 44-16 lead at intermission. The Tigers’ lackluster first-half performance was evident in their shooting percentages, converting a paltry 4-of-27 shots (14.8%), including a dismal 1-of-12 from beyond the arc (8.3%). Conversely, Villanova sank 15 field goals, eight of which were three-pointers, underscoring the lopsidedness of the first half.

– Photo Credits – Madison Penke / Madison Penke Photography

Villanova’s grip on the game remained firm in the second half, stretching their lead to a monumental 35 points. However, the 67-35 scoreline with less than nine minutes to play seemed to jolt the Tigers into action. Under the leadership of head coach Penny Hardaway, a full-court press was implemented, disrupting Villanova’s rhythm. This strategic move was followed by a five-second call and triples from Jahvon Quinerly and Ashton Hardaway, igniting a 21-0 run for the Tigers. Over the subsequent five minutes, Memphis capitalized on five Villanova turnovers, with Quinerly and David Jones contributing a total of 15 points.

Despite this spirited comeback, the Tigers’ efforts fell short. A three-pointer from Jones at the 3:42 mark reduced the deficit to 13, but that was the closest they came to the Wildcats. Villanova responded with a decisive 10-3 run to seal the victory, extending their perfect record at the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament to 9-0 and securing their third title.

POSTGAME NOTES:

Memphis utilized the starting lineup of Jahvon Quinerly, Caleb Mills, Jaykwon Walton, David Jones, and Jordan Brown for the fourth consecutive game. Jones, a Battle 4 Atlantis All-Tournament selection, led the Tigers with 13 points and seven rebounds in 33 minutes. Quinerly, who scored all his 12 points in the second half, only managed to make one assist. Mills and Walton contributed 10 and nine points, respectively, with Walton also going 7-of-8 at the free throw line. Ashton Hardaway added eight points, including two crucial triples.

The Tigers’ shooting efficiency was a season-low 35.1 percent, with 20 of 57 shots finding the mark. Villanova took advantage of 11 Memphis turnovers, converting them into 16 points, most of which (14) came in the first half. Villanova showcased a balanced offensive display, with five players entering double figures, led by Tyler Burton, Eric Dixon, and Justin Moore, each contributing 11 points.

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