The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Pennsylvania Quakers 77-54 at The Pavilion in Villanova, PA. The Wildcats improved to 8-0, and the Quakers fell to 2-5.
Villanova held a comfortable 46-28 halftime lead that slowly slipped away during the second half. After a Julian Harrell jumper at 7:09, Villanova’s lead was down to eight. At that point, the Wildcats went on a 21-6 run the rest of the game, and finished with a sizable 23 point lead.
Villanova’s key to success was getting to the line, and knocking down free throws. The Wildcats hit 31 of 40 from the charity stripe while Penn only hit 6 of 11. The Quakers outrebounded the Wildcats 42-40, but had 24 turnovers to Nova’s 15. Both teams left room for improvement, especially the Quakers, who need to adjust to the fouling enforcement changes this year.
Wildcat junior guard Darrun Hilliard led all scorers with 19 points on 5 of 10 shooting from the field including four of six from the three. Senior guard James Bell scored 14 points and grabbed 8 boards. Junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston hit 11 of 14 free throws, and finished with 13 points and 7 rebounds. Dylan Ennis hit six of seven from the line to finish with eleven points, five rebounds, and five assists.
The Quakers were led by senior guard Miles Jackson-Cartwright who scored 17 points. Sophomore center Darien Nelson-Henry had 12 points and 7 rebounds. Fran Dougherty shot poorly with only three points, but contributed to the rebounding advantage with nine boards.
Villanova will play at St. Joseph’s (4-3) in their next game at 6 pm ET on December 7th. Pennsylvania stays at home to play the Wagner Seahawks (4-5) at 7 pm ET on December 7th.