A 33 point win over Division II opponent with low expectations this season is hardly a reason to celebrate, but the healthy win is also not a cause for concern. Wright used the game as an opportunity to test out some ideas and line-ups and to get his players used to playing a certain way. The 91-58 victory for the Wildcats was certainly a welcome side-effect, however.
Which is why he was running a full-court press while up 30 points in the second half. It wasn't about extending the lead, it was about making a point on strategy. Wright also used that 30-point lead as an opportunity to put all five of his freshmen on the court at the same time to face live competition.
Maalik Wayns score 21 points in the contest while James Bell scored 17 (and grabbed 8 boards) to lead the Wildcats. Mouph Yarou had 10 points and Ash Yacoubou added 11 points to join them in the double digits.
Yarou only had a disappointing 4 rebounds, while Dominic Cheek, who started at the 3, recorded a team-leading 13 boards and 8 points. Cheek made all four of his free-throws, but missed on all four of his opportunities from beyond the arc. Yacoubou connected on 3 of 5 attempts from deep, while Bell and Hilliard each hit 1 of 2 from the arc.
Perhaps most importantly, Wayns was in full point guard-mode, dishing out 7 assists to go along with his team-leading score. Cheek also did his part to set up teammates, notching 5 assists of his own.
For NYIT, Dominic Scurry and Jahleel Felix each scored 10 points to lead their team. Their teammate, Antoine Brown, went 3-for-6 from the field with all three baskets coming from behind the arc. As a team, the Bears shot 30% from three-point range, while the Wildcats connected on just 24%.
Maurice Sutton was the only scholarship player for Villanova who played less than 10 minutes.
- Box Score -