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#6 Villanova struggles past Penn 71-56

‘Cats grab ugly Big 5 win but major issues linger

The #6 Villanova Wildcats defeated the Pennsylvania Quakers 71-56 on Wednesday night at the Palestra.

While a win is a win, this one will not do much to assuage the concerns of Villanova fans.

While the ‘Cats held a 33-21 lead at the half, it was a pretty ugly first half of basketball, specifically on the offensive end. Collin Gillespie finished the first half with 13 points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-5 from deep, while Brandon Slater chipped in 9 of his own. However, Justin Moore could not find his stroke early - going 1-5 from three. The bench - mainly Arcidiacono and Daniels - tallied major minutes but shot a collective 1-8 from the field.

Coming out of the half, the ‘Cats struggled to pull away from the Quakers. Aside from Gillespie and Slater, no one on the floor could establish any rhythm on offense. The offensive “sets” were dead on arrival while Moore and Samuels - seeing some choppy minute allotments - looked lost.

The ‘Cats essentially played two-on-five in this one, with Collin Gillespie finishing with a game high 26 points and Brandon Slater pouring in 16 of his own.

We will have a more in-depth analysis of this one in the takeaways but, for now, the takeaway is “yikes.” There is no silver lining to this one - Penn is a bad team and the clear issues impacting Villanova - a short rotation and a stagnant offense - have yet to be addressed. The minutes allotment is a find-muck and the development plan appears non-existent. Chris Arcidiacono played 18 minutes and scored 0 points/was a -3. What are we doing? Where are we going? Besides Waco in two weeks.

Villanova will host St. Joe’s this Saturday at noon before heading to New York to take on Syracuse in the Jimmy V Classic. I will be in attendance for that one and I am not responsible for my behavior.