Fresh off of a lovely trip down to the Caribbean last week, the Villanova Wildcats returned to action Wednesday night with their first Big 5 meeting of season. They played host to the Penn Quakers on the floor of a tightly packed Jake Nevin Field House, a site where it was students only for this evening only.
In what was a pretty straight forward game, for the Wildcats made quick work of the Quakers, defeating them 90-62 to improve to a record of 7-0 on the season.
Penn had their flashes at the start of the game, going tit-for-tat early on with the offensive options that the Wildcats had at their disposal. But by the end of the first half, ‘Nova led 46-28, and it was safe to assume at that point that the Wildcats would have this one in hand.
The Wildcats set Jake Nevin ablaze, shooting the ball at a rate of 57 percent from the floor, 50 percent from 3-point range, and 84 percent from the foul line. Four players tonight finished the game in double figures, with Jalen Brunson leading the way with 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting and a perfect 3-of-3 from the foul line. His efforts tonight were followed up with a trio of 14-point games by Mikal Bridges, Phil Booth, and Omari Spellman. Rounding out the scoring was Donte DiVincenzo, who put up 12 points.
The Wildcats were actually out-rebounded 33-32, but this fact feels kind of irrelevant to point out. A much more interesting fact is that Penn turned over the ball tonight 14 times, and as a result, Villanova scored 23 points off turnovers in this game. On another note, no Wildcat ran into serious foul trouble at any point over the span of this game.
As for the Quakers, on the floor tonight, they shot 41 percent from the field, 30 percent from 3-point land and just 62 percent from the foul line. The leading scorers tonight for the Quakers were AJ Brodeur with 15 points, Darnell Foreman with 13 and Ryan Betley with 11.
As mentioned, the Quakers turned over the ball 14 times Two players on Penn did run into some serious foul trouble, with Antonio Woods and Eddie Scott both finishing with four fouls.
With their seventh win now in the books, Villanova now turns their attention to their next game, another Big 5 meeting this weekend against Saint Joseph’s.