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Villanova opens Myrtle Beach Invitational with big win over Middle Tennessee State

Cole Swider had a career-high 26 points in the victory

NCAA Basketball: Canisius at Villanova Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Feast Week Nova lives on.

The Villanova Wildcats took care of business Thursday morning in Myrtle Beach against the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders, picking up a 98-69 victory. This marks Villanova’s 18th straight November tournament victory, a streak that goes back to 2014.

The tone was set early by Collin Gillespie, who scored the first eight points of the game. Gillespie hit two threes to get things going, part of a first half barrage of threes from the Wildcats, who connected 11 times from long-range in the first 20 minutes. Cole Swider picked up where Gillespie left off, posting a career-high 21 points in the first half and connecting on five of six three-pointers. Swider finished the afternoon with 26 points, while Gillespie had 16 and Justin Moore had an impressive 15. In all, ten different Wildcats scored at least three points in the victory. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had another strong game on the glass, hauling in 11 rebounds.

Aside from the win, the biggest story for the Wildcats was the season debut of five-star freshman Bryan Antoine. Antoine put up nine points in 19 minutes of action as he looked comfortable and ready for action. It’ll be interesting in watching his progression this weekend and beyond.

Donovan Sims led MTSU with 18 points.

There’s really not much more to takeaway from this game. The Wildcats did their thing against a team they should have done their thing against. They’ll face Tulane or Mississippi State Friday afternoon.