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Wildcats defeat Huskies, 81-61

Villanova gets 2014 NCAA Tournament revenge.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

In the first of a three game annual series, Villanova served UConn their second loss at home this season in Hartford, soundly defeating the Huskies 81-61.

While the game ended with strong offense by the Wildcats, it began with a far more solemn, steadied pace. Both teams suffered through a glacial shooting slump for the majority of the first half. ‘Nova began to melt through their blockade midway through, thanks to the relentless energy of Donte DiVincenzo. DiVincenzo had an explosive three-point shooting burst, and his high tempo beyond the perimeter and underneath the bucket flared up Villanova’s overall efficiency.

Unfortunately for UConn, ‘Nova’s flurry of three-pointers in the first half turned into an outright storm in the second half. Capitalizing on the fact that they were shooting better from beyond the arc at one point, DiVincenzo and Jalen Brunson lead Villanova with five three-pointers each.

Villanova not only made shots all over the UConn, but nailed down defense over the Huskies as well. Out-rebounding UConn 48-32, Villanova also doubled UConn’s offensive rebounds (16-8). The Wildcats ended the game with 41.2% of FGs and 37.5% of 3FGs, while the Huskies completed 34.4% of FGs and 26.1 of 3FGs. National Player of the Year hopeful Jalen Brunson lead Villanova with 23 points, while Jalen Adams topped UConn with 19 points.

The Wildcats will resume back to Big East conference play on Tuesday, facing Providence at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.