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'Nova Hammers Hawks: 88-57

The Wildcats continued their domination of the Philly Big Five by hammering St. Joseph's (PA) today on the Main Line - powered by a triple-double performance by All-America candidate, Josh Hart ...

#2 AP, Villanova thrashed St. Joseph’s (PA) this afternoon at the Pavilion to advance to 8-0 on the season and 2-0 in Big Five action.  The 88-57 victory continues the recent wave of City Series dominance by the Cats - a record, 16 straight wins - the last 14 of which have been by 14 or more points.

The Hawks gave it a nice go through the first 15 minutes of the game as Lamarr “Fresh” Kimble, Charlie Brown and Nick Robinson started out shooting the ball beyond their normal efficiency.  ‘Nova knuckled down on defense and the momentum took a huge turn in the Wildcat’s favor.  Villanova began controlling the glass, creating dunks off drive and dish action and knocking down treys at a high rate to blow the game slightly open by half and comically open by the mid-point of the second half.

With Kentucky losing at home to UCLA today, Villanova is likely to be ranked #1 AP come Monday.  Last season, the Cats achieved the #1 AP ranking for the first time in program history.


  • 64-30 run over the last 26 minutes of the game
  • 16-34 (47.1% 3PFG) for ‘Nova
  • 42-34 rebounding edge
  • 1.29 points per possession for ‘Nova
  • 0.84 points per possession for the Hawks
  • Second half defense - held Joeys to 26 points
  • Scoring balance - all 7 Wildcat rotation players had ORtgs higher than any single Hawk
  • Hawk leading scorer, Shavar Newkirk, was taken out of the game


  • Defense gave up too many easy looks in the first 15 minutes of the game


Josh Hart (35 Min, 16 Points, 6-10 FG, 3-6 3PFG, 11 Reb, 10 Assists, 1 Steal, 2 TOs, 154 ORtg)  A triple-double for Hart in what was a very impressive game for the Senior, All-American candidate.  He is ranked as the #1 player, statistically, in the country by kenpom.  He followed up his career high 9 assist game against Penn with a new career high of 10.  With Phil Booth sidelined, Hart emerging as a play-maker and scorer deluxe is just what the Dr. ordered for the Wildcat offense.  A couple of Hart’s rebounds were of the insane, soaring with power variety that the ‘Nova guard has used to cement his reputation.

Kris Jenkins (35 Min, 20 Points, 7-14 FG, 4-9 3PFG, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 TOs, 153 ORtg)  Jenkins  continues to stroke the deep ball well.  He is rebounding the ball on the defensive end with more consistency so far this season - a necessity given the Cats lack of bulk in the low post.  There were a couple instances where Jenkins could have looked for his three-point jumper on receipt of passes to the wing but instead he chose to create off the bounce.  This selflessness is part of what makes the Wildcat offense so efficient.

Darryl Reynolds (24 Min, 13 Points, 5-6 FGs, 6 Rebounds, 1 Block, 122 ORtg)  The rims at the Pavilion may need a day off after the pounding that Reynolds gave them this afternoon.  He hammered down a few authoritative dunks as the Hawk defense scrambled to cover the ‘Nova perimeter firepower.  He did a nice job of rim protection and rebounding the ball as well.

Mikal Bridges (21 Min, 8 Points, 2-3 3PFG, 5 Rebounds, 3 Steals, 104 ORtg)  His minutes were a bit trimmed due to foul trouble, but Bridges was impactful during his time on the floor.  His defense on the perimeter helped to shut down the Hawk guard corps.

Jalen Brunson (29 Min, 11 Points, 3-6 3PFG, 6 Assists, 1 TO, 129 ORtg)  Other than the statistical oddity of shooting 0-4 from two-point range, Brunson played a very solid game.  He made great decisions with the ball and helped the offense get quality looks on a consistent basis.  Shot the three-ball well.

Eric Paschall (21 Min, 10 Points, 2-4 3PFG, 4 Rebounds, 110 ORtg)  Paschall seemed to play at a better pace today than the rushed pace he exhibited against Penn.  If he starts to knock down a good percentage of his threes and pick his spots to get to the rim, he will serve as the perfect counter-weight to Jenkins, Hart, and Bridges.

Donte DiVincenzo (24 Min, 10 Points, 4 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Steal, 0 TOs,133 ORtg)  Continues to play well and with more composure than he displayed early last season.  DiVincenzo uses his strength and leaping ability to rebound the ball effectively on both ends of the floor.  He contests a lot of shots in the lane from the guard position - making it difficult for smaller guards to get decent looks from that four to eight foot range.

Dylan Painter (3 Min, 3 Rebounds, 1 TO, 0-1 3PFG)  Painter got after it on the glass but on his offensive touches he: hoisted a three, committed a turnover, and stalled a possession by failing to make the kick-out pass to a wide open three-ball shooter.  The game is a little too quick for the Freshman, big … with time he will adjust and be more effective on offense.

Tim Delaney (3 Min) Didn’t get touches on offense.

Walk-Ons  (1 or 2 Min Each) The play of the game for the walk-ons was the Denny Grace defensive rebound that got the ball back for the Cats and preserved the 30+ point win.

The next game for the Cats is a Tuesday, 7PM tip against LaSalle at the Palestra.

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