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Villanova vs. Stanford recap: Wildcats defeat Cardinal in NIT Tip-Off

The Wildcats will play Georgia Tech Friday.

Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova's first game away from The Pavilion this year went pretty similar to the four at The Pavilion. The Wildcats took care of business against the Stanford Cardinal 59-45 at the Barclays Center, to advance to the NIT Tip-Off final on Friday afternoon.

Here are three things we learned from this game.

Jalen Brunson is very good

The freshman guard played his best game of the season Thursday evening in Brooklyn. He had a career high 18 points.

He didn't distribute the ball as he's been doing this year, as he had only two assists, but this was the first game where we've really seen him take over offensively.

The Wildcats needed it from him. Ryan Arcidiacono went 2-11 with eight points (UPDATE), and Daniel Ochefu had only four points.

That's why Villanova is so dangerous, though. If one or two guys have a bad game., there's a laundry list of other scorers ready, willing, and able to pick up the slack.

Brunson also drew two charges in the first half, which is good to see from a guard. He's not afraid to get down low and put his body on the line.

Both teams struggled offensively

Villanova, as a team, shot 30.6 percent.

As bad as that sounds, Stanford only managed to shoot 26 percent.

Neither team looked particularly dialed in. That'll happen sometimes when you play in a neutral site on a holiday with a weird start time.

There were also a ton of fouls in the game, as the teams shot a combined 42 free throws.

Stanford was led offensively by guard Dorian Pickens. He had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Looking ahead

Villanova improves to 5-0 on the season. They'll face the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Friday afternoon in the NIT Tip-Off Final.

The Yellow Jackets beat Arkansas 83-73 in the earlier NIT Tip-Off game on Thursday.

Forward Charles Mitchell had 18 points and 18 rebounds against the Razorbacks, while Marcus Georges-Hunt and Adam Smith tied for the team scoring lead with 19 each.

For more information on Georgia Tech, visit our friends at From the Rumble Seat.