Game ended at approximately 9:04 PM ET. Villanova Wildcats defeat Penn Quakers 65-53. Some notes on the game are below.
- Before the tipoff, there was more drama surrounding the Wildcats of Villanova, as Corey Fisher was benched for the start of the game due to a "disagreement in practice." Dominic Cheek took the place of Fisher in the starting lineup.
- Villanova built an 8 point lead five minutes into the game with Corey Stokes and Antonio Pena scoring the Cats' first 14 points.
- Some may have thought that we were headed for another 38 point rout, as was the case last year, but Penn had other ideas, storming back to take a 1 point lead with eight minutes left in the first half.
- After a timeout by a furious Jay Wright, Villanova got back on track, retaking the lead heading into halftime. Stokes and Pena each had double figures by half.
- Halftime score: Villanova 30 Penn 23
More after the jump...
- Early in the second half, every time Nova tried to expand the lead to double digits, the Quakers would hit a bucket or two to keep themselves within striking distance.
- With ten minutes left and a 6 point Cats lead, Corey Stokes hit the 20 point plateau by rattling in a few jumpers to extend the advantage to a more comfortable 13 points.
- Again though, Penn made a mini run to cut the deficit to 7 with six minutes remaining. That's the closest the home squad would get, because Stokes was not going to let this game get away. He wanted the ball down the stretch, and put the game away singlehandedly with some free throws and clutch buckets.
- As you may have guessed, Corey Stokes was the stat leader tonight, as he put up 34 points on 11-15 shooting, including 5-9 from downtown, and he was also 7-8 from the charity stripe. Antonio Pena had 16 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 steals, but he also turned it over 5 times. No other Wildcat more than 4 points. For Penn, Zack Rosen had a big night with 20 points and 5 assists.
- Some quick observations-1) Corey Stokes has been the most consistent player thus far for the Cats. 2) What is going on with Corey Fisher's shooting? After his 1-6 from the field tonight and only 4 points, this is becoming more than just a bad game or two. 3) I listened to the game on the radio and not sure I have ever heard a more "homer" duo of announcers than Brian Seltzer and Vince Curran. There was not one call against the Quakers that they did not complain about, but whatever. 4) Villanova obviously didn't play a great game, but you have to be happy with only allowing 53 points, regardless of the opponent.