The Wildcats earned a victory against the Delaware Blue Hens Sunday afternoon to improve to 7-4. JayVaughn Pinkston had a game high 19 points in just 22 minutes off the bench, shooting 6-for-11 and grabbing 6 rebounds, 4 of which were offensive rebounds. Pinkston and James Bell shot a combined 6-for-9 from the 3-point line. Maurice Sutton led the defensive attack for the Cats, swatting 6 shots and altering many more. Villanova led by as many as 17 points, but Delaware made the box score look closer as Nova eased up at the end of the game.
This was again a tale of two halves for the Wildcats, but this time the Cats improved in the second half. Going into the locker room at half time, Jay Wright's squad was clinging to a 4-point lead. Wright made adjustments and altered his lineup for the second half, and the team opened up a 10 point lead in the first 3 minutes of the second half.
Delaware did much of the damage to themselves. They shot 30% from the 3-point line and gave up 17 offensive rebounds. Additionally, they had nearly twice as many free throw attempts as Villanova but shot poorly in the second half. In 7 straight trips to the line, they only hit 1 out of 2 shots.
Villanova was flying high this game; we saw a 30-foot lob pass to James Bell, while Sutton and Ochefu each had some commanding dunks of their own. Hilliard got in on the action with a 2-hand tomahawk on a breakaway. It seems like the team is playing with more intensity and excitement. Nova played tough and out-rebounded Delaware 38-23. Perhaps the big men were energized by the more efficient post entries executed this game, which has been plaguing the team. Nova still found plenty of ways to turn the ball over though, creating a 16-17 assist-to-turnover ratio.
The Wildcats will need to find some consistency if they want to win against better teams. Ultimately Delaware has a record of 3-8, and a good team might have created a 20-point deficit in the first half. Ryan Arcidiacono continues to earn the most playing time on the team while playing inefficiently, shooting 2-9 from the field. The student section groans now when he lines up his shots. On the bright side, he didn't turn the ball over, and we saw flashes of him penetrating to the middle of the defense and driving to the rim.
The Wildcats will continue to iron out the kinks before entering Big East play on January 2. They return to the court on December 22 at Monmouth.