It rained on the streets of Philadelphia tonight, and equally so, it rained 3’s inside the Palestra.
At their inaugural game of Big 5 play, the Wildcats brought a sharp shooting game to the Quakers at the Palestra. Ending the game making 55 percent of their field goals, and a nailing a solid 46 percent of their three pointers, Villanova clearly had a special connection to the bucket Tuesday night.
The most prime example of this? Kris Jenkins. For the one person left on Mars questioning if Jenkins is a good 3-point shooter: he is. Leading ‘Nova’s offensive effort with 22 points, Jenkins was 6-7 for downing 3’s. Add five rebounds to his hustle and the casual fact that Jenkins entered the 1,000 point club—safe to say, Jenkins had himself a night.
Jenkins did not have a monopoly on effective scoring for the Wildcats. In fact, six players entered double digits on the scoreboard. Donte DiVincenzo helped open scoring up for ‘Nova at the start of the game, and with a deep three, deftly helped end it with 13 points. Closely behind him, Josh Hart and Darryl Reynolds both secured 12 points each. Reynolds, further easing into his status as the “big man in the paint,” lead coach Jay Wright’s team with eight rebounds.
Jalen Brunson continued to be playmaker extraordinaire. Perhaps *slightly* more significant than his 11 points, Brunson was quick to keep the ball alive and in ‘Nova’s possession during the many turnovers at the Palestra. Mikal Bridges rounded out Villanova’s double digit squad with his 10-point contribution.
Turnovers plagued both the Quakers and the Wildcats, with each team racking up 17. Penn was especially skilled at forcing ‘Nova’s hand, but Villanova ultimately optimized on points off of turnovers, securing 23 points compared to Penn’s 11.
The Wildcats continue with their Big 5 journey on Saturday, meeting Saint Joseph’s at the Pavilion.