Adam Zagoria covers basketball at all levels. He is the author of two books and an award-winning journalist whose articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Sports Illustrated, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide.
In Return to Brooklyn, Pinkston Leads Villanova to Legends Classic Championship
By CHRIS RUSSELLNEW YORK — JayVaughn Pinkston made the most of his homecoming.
In his return to Brooklyn, the 6-foot-7 redshirt senior forward went for 15 points and seven rebounds as No. 12 Villanova handled No. 14 VCU, 77-53, in the semifinals of the Legends Classic at Barclays Center.
“Coach [Jay Wright] and I talked about me coming up to play in New York, and play in front of my family,” said Pinkston. “Remember to focus on defense and that’s what I did the first couple of plays.”
Villanova guard Darrun Hilliard II added 14 points and forward Kris Jenkins scored 13 off the bench. VCU was led by Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson, each of whom scored 13 points.
“Great game for us,” Wright said. “We’ve had a few games that we didn’t quite do everything right, tonight we made good shots.”
Villanova will face No. 19 Michigan in tonight’s championship game at 10 p.m. (ESPN2), while VCU gets Oregon in the consolation game at 7:30 (ESPNU).
“Congrats to Villanova,” VCU coach Shaka Smart said. “I thought they played really hard and it showed a lot of poise all game long. I thought our energy was really good coming out of halftime, but after that initial 6-point run we had, we didn’t get stops.”
Villanova’s bench proved to be the difference in the game, outscoring VCU, 36-11. The Big East preseason favorite often grabbed crucial rebounds and loose balls and generally created havoc, something that the VCU is well known for doing.
Now Pinkston gets one more shot to impress in front of family and friends and to win an early season championship.
Photo: US Presswire
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Adam Zagoria is a Basketball Insider who covers basketball at all levels. A contributor to The New York Times and SportsNet New York (SNY), he is also the author of two books and is an award-winning journalist and filmmaker. His articles have appeared in ESPN The Magazine, SLAM, Sheridan Hoops, Basketball Times and in newspapers nationwide. He also won an Emmy award for his work on the SNY mini-documentary on Syracuse guard Tyus Battle.
A veteran Ultimate Frisbee player, he has competed in numerous National and World Championships and, perhaps more importantly, his teams won the Westchester Summer League (WSL) championships in 2011 and 2013.
He lives in Manhattan with his wife and children.