Five St. Joe’s players scored in double figures, but it still wasn’t enough for the Hawks as they attempted to deal Villanova their first loss of the season tonight at the historic Palestra.
Maurice Sutton threw down a dunk for the Wildcats seconds before the half and ‘Nova went into the break ahead by three. In typical Villanova fashion, the Wildcats turned in a stellar second-half performance and moved to 9-0 this season.
Four Wildcats scored 10 or more points, led by senior Scottie Reynolds who scored 22 points, while adding six rebounds, five assists, and four steals—to make up for his six turnovers on the evening.
Taylor King continued to be a spark off the Villanova bench, contributing 20 points and nine rebounds with 50 per cent shooting from three-point range.
Antonio Pena, who is averaging a double-double this season, added 15 points and seven rebounds. Corey Fisher scored 13 to go along with his six assists.
The Wildcats out-rebounded the Hawks 39-23, but with over 50 total fouls called in the game, it was at the free-throw line that ‘Nova won the game. The Cats shot 35-of-40 from the charity stripe (88 per cent), including 30-of-31 in the second half, while the Hawks shot 76 per cent, missing nine of their 38 attempts.
Every Wildcat who got playing time, scored. The only Hawk that did not score was Charoy Bentley, who played just six minutes.
Villanova has now won 21 of their last 22 Big-5 games, with their only loss coming two years ago to St. Joe’s, ironically. The Wildcats look to go a perfect 4-0 again this season when they face the Temple Owls this Sunday afternoon.
If the Wildcats can beat Temple, they should have no problem winning their two remaining games before the start of the Big East season—with a road contest at Fordham and home affair against Delaware.
Senior guard Reggie Redding will return to the team for the Delaware game giving the third-ranked Wildcats yet another on-court leader who can score and play lock-down defense.
A 12-0 start would be a wonderful early Christmas gift for Wildcat fans. The Villanova football team also plays Friday night versus Richmond for a chance to go to the National Championship game the following Friday.