Wildcats take step as Foye goes distance

Villanova 60 BC 59, OT

Minneapolis Regional

Ncaa Tournament


MINNEAPOLIS -- When he was 3, his father died in a motorcycle accident. Two years later, a month after his kindergarten graduation, his mother disappeared. He still does not know what happened to her and she long has been presumed dead.

A child, if he rises above that background, surely emerges as a toughened man.

In last night's NCAA Minneapolis Regional semifinal against Boston College, Villanova guard Randy Foye showed just how tough.

The Wildcats got their winning points from center Will Sheridan. He took an inbounds pass from Kyle Lowry with three seconds remaining in overtime, put up a layup and was awarded the basket when Eagles forward Sean Williams was called for goaltending.

But Foye was the catalyst who drove Villanova to the 60-59 overtime victory that sent it into a matchup tomorrow with Florida.

It was not simply that he ended with a game-high 29 points. It was not only that he played the entire 45 minutes.

It was more that he was the only player who soared and never buckled in an affair filled with surges and stumbles, with taut drama and a remarkable display of resilience by the Wildcats.

They were lost early in this one, shackled thoroughly by the Eagles' defense. With 13 minutes gone, they had only nine points and had missed 14 of 17 shots.

Neither Foye nor Allan Ray, the Wildcats' second-leading scorer, had scored. The team was down 12 and reeling.

"We just had to keep at 'em," Foye said, remembering this moment. "The biggest thing for us [then] was our defense. I told my teammates I didn't want this to be my last game. I want to keep playing."

Craig Smith and Jared Dudley, the big men down low who drive the Eagles, each ended up with 14 points. But neither could take over the game.

Ray and Lowry, the other scorers in Villanova's guard-oriented offense, ended with nine and seven points, respectively. They clearly were hardly a force in the game.

So with his team in dire need, Foye took over, hitting a five-foot shot, dropping a pair of foul shots and bouncing in an eight-footer over Dudley that put Villanova up by three with 44.2 seconds remaining.

Dudley dropped a big-league three at 28.4 to tie it, but in overtime Foye scored five of his team's first seven points to push the Wildcats up three with 43.7 seconds left.

Dudley and Smith responded to put the Eagles up by one when Villanova called its last timeout with 12.2 seconds remaining.

"He was exhausted," Wildcats coach Jay Wright said of Foye. "But he said, `This is my career. You can't take me out.' "

He didn't come out, nor did he get his team's final points. Those were left for Sheridan, who got an open look off a Ray screen. But the true hero here was clear.

"I never thought about taking him out," Wright said of Foye. "I said, `We're going down with him.' "

Skip Myslenski writes for the Chicago Tribune.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.