The Villanova Wildcats have now dropped two of their last three after Saturday's 86-75 loss to the No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Wildcat offense couldn't quite establish themselves against the stingy Cavalier defense which did their damnedest to thwart them in the first half as Villanova only scored 29 points. They saw a surplus in their play in the second half but it ultimately wouldn't be enough as they could not contain the hot shooting of Anthony Gill and London Perrantes. The dynamic duo for Virginia shot 13-for-19 from the field with Gill only dropping one shot attempt all day.
Malcolm Brogdon had himself a day with 20 points, seven rebounds and six assists with a perfect day from the free throw line, knocking down all eight of his attempts.
'Nova was led by the surprisingly splendid play from Kris Jenkins who scored a game-high 23. Jenkins was complemented by two others in double figures - Daniel Ochefu and Josh Hart, who scored 13 and 12.
Here's what we learned from this Top 15 matchup:
1. 'Nova is shooting themselves out of their struggles from the perimeter
The final number stands at 38.5 percent for the Villanova Wildcats but the first half numbers indicate that they're on the right track. Against a usually stout defense, 'Nova shot 40.0 percent from the perimeter in half number one. Kris Jenkins put on a shot in the second half on his own, shooting 4-for-6 from the perimeter. While they shot 6-for-16, Villanova's reliance on the 3-point ball to get ahead against a wear-you-down offense like Virginia was likely the smart strategy. It would appear that Villanova might be en route to solving their 3-point issues.
2. There were tangible differences from the first half to the second, which is a good sign
In the first half, Villanova scored just 1.036 points per possession. The second half was much more pleasant, with 'Nova scoring 1.353 points per possession. They also committed just two turnovers in 20 minutes of action, a turnover percentage of just 5.9 percent. The loss stings, and they simply couldn't contain London Perrantes from the 3-point line, but there is, at least, reason to have your glass half full today.
3. Virginia is still really damn good
This just in: Your back-to-back ACC regular season champions should be poised to make a run at a three-peat. Perrantes, Gill and Brogdon are as potent of a triple threat that you will find in the realm of college basketball right now and they are nothing if not efficient from the floor as they make good out of each of their possessions. You would like for Villanova to win these games to give them a boost, but there's no real shame in losing to this UVA team.