A bright first half had 'Nova fans thinking that an upset over their crosstown rivals Temple was possible, but one of the worst second half performances in school history eliminated any thought of that one early on as the Wildcats would eventually fall to the Owls ___
Villanova came out of the gates shooting the ball well, and a balanced offense led by Ryan Arcidiacono and Mouphtaou Yarou coupled with strong minutes from Maurice Sutton and James Bell had Villanova humming. On top of that, the defensive effort was among the best of the season, especially from Sutton who recorded 3 first half blocks.
Going into the break, Villanova had done well to limit Temple stars Scootie Randall and Khalif Wyatt while getting next to nothing from JayVaughn Pinkston who was plagued by a couple of questionable foul calls in the opening stanza. Villanova would take a 36-32 lead into the break.
However, when the second half opened, it quickly turned ugly. It took Villanova almost 8 minutes to record a field goal while Temple opened the half with an 18-3 run to quickly put the game out of reach for the Wildcats. Tony Chennault of all people would finally end the horror show with a couple of deep 3's to briefly give Villanova hope of getting back into it.
Villanova's complete lack of an offensive gameplan, coupled yet another performance where there were significantly more turnovers than assists, was too much to overcome though as 'Nova eventually got blown out of the water, handing Temple their first win at The Pavilion since 1990
Most troubling however, is the clear lack of coaching during the halftime break. While Fran Dunphy made the necessary adjustments to put his team in a position to win, Villanova appeared to regress significantly in both their gameplan and execution, which falls squarely on coach Jay Wright.
Moreover, he seemed to favor players who were not playing well in the 2nd half, including but not limited to Mouphtaou Yarou and Daniel Ochefu, over players who were having a very positive effect on the game such as Maurice Sutton and Achraf Yacoubou.
The questions of Jay Wright's job security will only continue to arise, and if it weren't for the clown car that is the Villanova administration, Jay Wright might actually start to feel some pressure himself.
Stay strong 'Nova Nation, it's going to be another long season.