The Villanova Wildcats maybe felt like they had something to prove when things tipped off against CAA-foe Delaware this evening at the Pavilion. After a disappointing result at Virginia, Nova wanted a decisive victory on their home court on alumni night.
The 'Cats outpaced their opponent easily, taking a 21-point lead into halftime, and ultimately winning it by 30 points, 78-48. Delaware came out gunning from the opening tip, hitting on four 3-pointers to jump out to a 12-2 lead in the first three minutes of action. After that, however, the Wildcats settled into their game-plan, putting the breaks on the Delaware offense, connecting on 12-of-19 shots during a 16-1 run that shifted the momentum thoroughly in their favor.
A strong showing from Josh Hart led the way for the Villanova offense with 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting (and 4-of-6 from deep), and completed the double-double with 14 boards. Meanwhile both point guards, Jalen Brunson (13) and Ryan Arcidiacono (11) also closed the game in double-digits.
The Blue Hens were overmatched on the road, it seems, with their offense stifled, they lost the battle in turnovers 18-12, and on the glass (22-34). The Wildcats executed well on both sides of the court, and did what it needed to against an opponent that they were supposed to beat. They are now 14-0 all time against the Blue Hens.
The bad news for 'Nova was that junior wing Kris Jenkins appeared to sprain his knee, leaving the game in the first half. Phil Booth was the main beneficiary of his minutes, finishing the game with 9 points and 7 assists.
Villanova made just 48% of it's shots from the field, including 14-of-21 (66.7%) from inside the arc, and 13-of-35 (37.1%) from deep -- showing just how much their preference for the three-pointer affects overall statistics. The 'Cats offense had 20 assists in the game, for an assist rate of 74%.
Then again, when the 'Cats were feeding Daniel Ochefu inside with limited success while the Hens were building their early lead.
The visitors had two players who managed to reach double-digits, guards Kory Holden (23 points) and Cazmon Hayes (14 points), but none of the other starters scored more than five, and the Blue Hens bench was held scoreless.
The win was the 450th of Jay Wright's career, including his 122 wins at Hofstra University prior to taking the top job on the Main Line.