In typical cat fashion, The Villanova Wildcats toyed with their prey for much of the first half before finally brandishing their many weapons and slaying the Dragons of Drexel.
Drexel did not score their first points until almost ten minutes into the first half when they finally connected on a three pointer. Unfortunately for Villanova, the Wildcats weren’t hitting their shots early either. With nine minutes left in the first half, the Wildcats looked more like tame house cats, leading Drexel eleven to three.
Three minutes later and the Dragons had cut into the lead and trailed 15 to 10. Already playing shut down defense, the ‘Nova offense came to life as the Wildcats went on a nineteen to eight run to end the first half.
Taylor King, the only Wildcats player to score in double figures in the first half, led Villanova with 12 points at the break.
In the second half it was all Villanova.
It got so bad for Drexel that their two leading scorers, Jamie Harris and Gerald Colds, didn’t score, going a combined 0 for 17 shooting from the field. 52 of Drexel’s 58 points came from just three players as the Dragons shot just 31 percent from the field.
Villanova dressed ten players for the game. Freshman Mouphtaou Yarou is out indefinitely after testing positive for Hepatitis B, senior Reggie Redding is still suspended for the first semester, and senior walk-on Jason Colenda decided to leave the team this week to focus on getting into grad school. All ten players got into the game (including walk-on Russell Wooten) and all ten players scored.
Villanova was led by junior Antonio Pena with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Pena was already averaging a double-double this season and showed no signs of slowing down.
Sophomore Taylor King added 16 points and five rebounds off the bench and senior guard Scottie Reynolds had a great night, contributing 14 points, six assists, and a career-high eight rebounds. King again proved to be a fan favorite for his hustle including a play where he dove onto the floor for a steal (one of nine on the night for ‘Nova).
While Corey Stokes and Corey Fisher didn’t have their best games, Stokes added seven points and five rebounds and Fisher had five points, five assists, and four steals.
Freshman Maurice Sutton who has been in the starting lineup the past few games, continued to be a force in the middle as he blocked three shots. He is averaging two blocks a game.
The Wildcats have won 32 straight games at The Pavilion, a streak that began with a 102-87 win over Notre Dame on Jan. 17, 2007.
Villanova is now 7-0 and ranked No. 3 in the country. The Wildcats, who will be on the road for their next four games, first head to Washington DC to take on Maryland this Sunday night.
Maryland, who was ranked earlier this season after a 4-0 start, dropped out of the top 25 after losing twice in Maui to Cincinnati and Wisconsin. Cincinnati has since moved into the top 25, and late tonight Wisconsin knocked off a tough top-10 Duke team to help the Big Ten beat the A.C.C. in the challenge between the two conferences. Maryland won at Indiana on Tuesday and now sits at 5-2.
If Villanova can get through Maryland, there is no reason the Wildcats can’t win their next five straight and go into the Big East season a perfect 12-0.
Villanova’s football team also won this past Saturday, beating Holy Cross 38-28 at home. They next look to avenge their only loss of the season (on the road at New Hampshire) when the Wildcats of New Hampshire take on ‘Nova on the Main Line this Saturday afternoon. It should be another great weekend for Villanova athletics.