Instant Replay: Villanova 73, No. 5 Louisville 64

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Instant Replay: Villanova 73, No. 5 Louisville 64

BOX SCORE

Villanova shook up the Big East and the national rankings with a 73-64 win over No. 5 Louisville on Tuesday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Archaf Yacoubou drained a three-pointer with four minutes remaining to break a tie at 53, and James Bell hit a three of his own 51 seconds later to help the Wildcats secure the victory.

Turning point
Villanova can look at the end of the game to see how they pulled off the upset, but the Wildcats should really trace back to the first frame to see where the game was won.

The Cats got the faithful rocking when Tony Chenault followed up a thunderous dunk by Daniel Ochefu with a three-pointer to give Villanova a 10-point lead midway through the first half. But Villanova didnt keep its foot on the gas.

The Cardinals began to shake their early shooting woes and turned up the full-court pressure defensively to the tune of a 12-0 run to get back in the game.

The Wildcats went nearly five minutes without a point but were able to regroup late in the half and take a 30-28 lead into intermission.

Teams typically wilt after runs like that from top-tier squads like Louisville. The Wildcats proved to be anything but typical on this night.

Big man on campus
Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston led Villanova with 13 points apiece. Darrun Hilliard and Mouphtaou Yarou each had 11 points, while Bell added 10.

Wayne Blackshear scored 17 points for Louisville. Peyton Siva scored 15 points and handed out 11 assists.

Inside the box score
Villanova, which leads the Big East in turnovers with 16.3 per game, gave the ball away 19 times. Louisville came into Tuesday forcing the second-most turnovers per game in the nation at 19.7 a game.

Villanova shot 22 of 48 (45.8 percent) from the field and 7 of 15 from three-point range.

Louisville was a dismal 12 of 24 from the free-throw line.

Louisville's Russ Smith -- the Big Easts third-leading scorer with 19.3 points per game -- scored just eight points on 2-of-13 shooting.

When was the last time
Tuesday might marked the 18th meeting between the two schools. The Wildcats win tied the series at nine apiece.

Villanova is now 4-1 against Louisville in games played at the Wells Fargo Center.

Scouts honor
Scouts from several NBA teams were in attendance for the Big East battle, including Sixers director of player personnel Courtney Witte and Brooklyn Nets general manager Billy King.

Whats next?
Villanovas run against stiff competition continues on Saturday when the Wildcats face No. 3 Syracuse back at the Wells Fargo Center at 11 a.m..

The Wildcats were handed a 72-61 defeat by the Orange at the Carrier Dome back on Jan. 12 to snap their seven-game win streak.

E-mail Matt Haughton at mhaughton@comcastsportsnet.com.

Drexel's Chris Crawford soaks up tradition at U.S. Open

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USA Today Images

Drexel's Chris Crawford soaks up tradition at U.S. Open

ERIN, Wis. — The U.S. Open is all about tradition. This week is the 117th playing of golf's national championship and this event more than most celebrates those golfers who play the game as amateurs. 

Soon-to-be Drexel graduate Chris Crawford has been soaking up all the traditions this week at Erin Hills. Playing in his second U.S. Open after qualifying through both local and sectional competition for the second straight year, an extremely difficult feat, the 23-year-old fifth-year senior enjoyed the amateur dinner put on by the tournament organizers with the USGA. Crawford and his fellow amateurs, a stout list including Texas' Scottie Scheffler, who shot 3-under Thursday to seize the early low amateur lead, were celebrated the entire evening — one of Crawford's early highlights in a long week here in Wisconsin. 

Crawford produced a 3-over par 75 Thursday during the first round to tie for 102nd out of a field of 156 players.

"I played OK (Thursday)," Crawford said. "I'm going to take more positives than negatives out of the round. I played really well for 14 holes and just had a few bad swings on the other four holes."

Indeed, Thursday morning started nervously for the former Drexel golf standout. On the opening par-5 first hole, he snap-hooked his drive into the weeds out of bounds to the left, resulting in a double bogey. Three holes later, he chipped one shot over the back of the fourth green and took another double-bogey, placing him 4-over through four holes. 

Although bogeys might keep many of us alive in our weekend matches, it doesn't cut it in a U.S. Open. Crawford responded well in the ensuing 14 holes, going 1-under in that stretch.

Crawford's coach Mike Dynda, who teaches him at LuLu Country Club in Glenside, Pennsylvania, said he makes a big point to prepare Crawford's mind for his big rounds.

"I texted him last night and said, 'When you got to sleep, imagine that you're on the 18th hole and you have a putt for 9-under,'" Dynda said. "It's important to go to sleep and dream like that."

On the other side, Dynda — who taught the golf team at Drexel from 2003-2015 — also told his pupil to stay away from expectations. When you're 23 and you're playing in your second consecutive U.S. Open, one might think it would be easy to get ahead of yourself. Not so with Crawford, according to Dynda.

"I've taught him to not have any expectations for the five years we've been together," Dynda said. 

Crawford had a superstar practice round on Monday, playing with Jordan Spieth, Jim Furyk and Wisconsin's own Steve Stricker.

"It was a lot of fun playing with those guys and just watching them strategize about learning a brand new U.S. Open course," Crawford said. "I think that's the biggest thing I was impressed with, was the way they talked about strategy on this golf course.

"They were all very nice with me and were very specific to ask about me and they wanted to learn a little bit about my life, so I appreciated that."

For Dynda, talking with Furyk brought back a fond memory. Furyk's father, Mike, actually sold Dynda his first set of golf clubs, Tommy Armor 845s, back in Philadelphia years ago. 

With one round in the books and the forecast calling for rain this weekend, Crawford was looking forward to having the proper mentality as he headed into Friday's second round.

"I want to go out there and just not get ahead of myself," Crawford said. "I'm going to think positively and appreciate that I'm playing in the national open."

Crawford teed off at 2:31 p.m. local time off of the 10th hole.

"This week is so cool because I never do something like this," Crawford said. "Playing in front of such large crowds is a treat and I just love the interaction with the fans before and after the rounds as well."

Last year at Oakmont, dozens of friends and family made the drive down the turnpike to see him play in his first U.S. Open. This year, Crawford estimates that he has around 15 friends and family out in the galleries cheering him on. Though coach Dynda caddied last year, those duties have gone to current Drexel golf coach Ben Feld.

It's a party this week of Drexel golf proportions.

Atlantic 10 reveals 2017-18 schedule pairings

Atlantic 10 reveals 2017-18 schedule pairings

Philadelphia basketball fans will be getting a double dip of one of the Atlantic 10 conference's best rivalries once again next season.

With the league's 18-game regular season format in place for a fourth straight year, it was revealed Wednesday afternoon that Saint Joseph's and La Salle will battle twice — once in North Philly at Tom Gola Arena and a second time at the Hawks' home just off City Line Avenue. Each team in the 14-member conference will play eight teams once and five teams twice.

The full pairings for the Explorers and Saint Joe's are listed here:

La Salle
Home: Dayton, George Mason, St. Bonaventure, VCU, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis
Away: Davidson, Duquesne, George Washington, Richmond, Fordham, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Saint Joseph’s, Saint Louis

Saint Joseph’s
Home: Dayton, Duquesne, Saint Louis, VCU, Fordham, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure
Away: Davidson, George Washington, Rhode Island, Richmond, Fordham, George Mason, La Salle, Massachusetts, St. Bonaventure

It was also rumored earlier in the day that the Hawks have added a Big Five matchup at Temple for Dec. 9.