Villanova continued their ownership of the Big 12 with their victory over the Cowboys on Friday afternoon. Nova dispatched West Virginia, Texas Tech and Kansas on their way to the national title in April.
Today’s performance seemed to act as a flashback to last season.
The ‘Cats fired up 40 threes on their way to booking their place in the Advocare Invitational Championship game on Sunday against Florida State. In doing so, Nova broke the tournament’s record with 16 made treys.
The Cowboys could never keep up.
Eric Paschall led the way as he looked to break out of his early season struggles. The redshirt-senior started off hot making his first five field goals, four of them from beyond the arch. He finished with 22 points and a career high 6 made threes.
The ball movement also seemed much improved for the Wildcats. Villanova recorded assists on four of their first five baskets on their way to 18 on the day. A stark difference from the 12 assists by the team yesterday against the Golden Griffins.
The drive and kick seemed to make its return — a focal point of offenses’ of Nova’s past.
Phil Booth and Saddiq Bey accounted for most of the secondary scoring.
Booth had a strong performance with 20 points and a team high five assists. The guard split time as both a primary ball handler and off ball shooter, torturing the Cowboys in both roles.
Saddiq Bey continues to back up Jay Wright’s statement that he is the “most ready” of the freshman early on in the season. Bey started his second consecutive game and while it wasn’t flashy — it was productive.
Bey racked up 13 points and nine boards while using his size effectively both on defense and in the post.
Bey wasn’t the only freshman to get some run by Jay Wright today.
Cole Swider seems to be gaining some confidence out on the floor as he finds his stroke. The stretch 4 from Rhode Island is now 5-13 from three in his last two games after starting his collegiate career 0-6 from long range.
Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree appears to be loving life in Orlando as the big man had his second consecutive imposing outing. Dada followed up his 13 rebounds yesterday with yet another baker’s dozen worth of boards. The early signs point to an improved Cosby-Roundtree through the season’s first six games.
Defending has been a major problem for the ‘Cats in the early going, but today saw improvement. Nova held the Pokes to just 26 first half points down at the Wide World of Sports. When it was all said and done, Villanova forced 10 turnovers, won the rebounding battle 39-26 and kept Ok. State to 32% from three.
This is a young Wildcat team and we are going to see the good and the bad (even though we are all trying to forget last week). Today was far from perfect, but it was better. Just breathe.
The Wildcats now have a day off in Disney before taking on Florida State at 1pm on Sunday.