AP

'Nova Manhandles Marquette

Villanova bounced back from a loss at Butler to torch Marquette 93-81 at the Wells Fargo Center Saturday evening ...

After suffering their first loss of the season at Butler earlier this week, Villanova bounced back with a fabulous offensive performance in Philly this evening to smoke Marquette, 93-81 and advance to 15-1 overall and 3-1 in Big East action.  The final score is deceptive given that Villanova led by margins between 25 and 30 points for a good chunk of the second half.

The Cats scored a torrid 1.43 points per possession on 65.3% shooting from the floor and 60.9% shooting from beyond the arc.  ‘Nova shared the ball beautifully as five Wildcats tallied 3 or more assists in the game (24 total).  Defensively, the Cats struggled to limit the three-point shooting effectiveness of the dead-eye Golden Eagles (14-31, 45.2% 3PFG) but did an excellent job of defending the paint (both out of 2-3 zone looks and switching man-to-man defenses).

‘Nova got 23 points from Kris Jenkins, 19 from Josh Hart (along with 7 assists), 16 from Jalen Brunson and another 15 chipped in by Mikal Bridges.

Goods:

  • Offensive execution
  • Four Cats scored 15+ points
  • FG shooting
  • 24 Assists to 13 Turnovers

Others:

  • Allowed 48 second half points
  • Out-rebounded (allowed 18 offensive rebounds)
  • Shot 68.2% FTs

Players:

Josh Hart (34 Min, 19 Points, 8-13 FG, 2-5 3PFG, 2-5 FT, 5 Rebounds, 7 Assists, 1 Turnover, 1 Steal, 155 ORtg)  Hart played a strong defensive game, did a great job of distributing the ball when he received extra attention from the Marquette defensive and he scored the ball efficiently.   Another National POY-type performance from the Senior!  Great decision-making and leadership.

Kris Jenkins (32 Min, 23 Points, 7-11 FG, 6-9 3PFG, 3-5 FT, 4 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 2 Turnovers, 149 ORtg)  Jenkins caught fire from beyond the arc, canning a number of NBA -range three-balls on his way to a game-high, 24 points.  After an inefficient offensive output against Butler, Jenkins torched Marquette in this one.

Darryl Reynolds (18 Min, 6 Points, 3-3 FG, 0-1 FT, 2 Rebounds, 1 Turnover, 1 Block, 102 ORtg) Finished strong with dunks and lay-ups.  Didn’t play his normal number of minutes though he was generally effective. 

Mikal Bridges (26 Min, 15 points, 1-1 FGs, 3-3 3PFG, 4-4 FTs, 4 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 1 Turnover, 2 Steals, 2 Blocks, 204 ORtg)  Perhaps someone needs to email Ken Pomeroy to have him query his database and see how many players have had consecutive games with 25+ minutes played in which they had a 0 ORtg in one game and bounced back to post an ORTg over 200 in the next - seems nuts but Bridges answered a cold as ice offensive night at Butler with a fabulous effort against Marquette on both ends of the floor.  He blocked shots, he drilled open treys, he drove the ball to the rim and finished, he grabbed steals and got deflections … Bridges did a bit of everything in this contest.

Jalen Brunson (32 Min, 16 Points, 5-7 FGs, 3-3 3PFG, 3-5 FTs, 5 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 3 Turnovers, 134 ORtg)  Brunson was excellent in this one.  His A/TO ratio is perhaps not reflective of how good his decision-making was.  He played at a great pace, found open teammates with laser passes (sometimes, as with Bridges in the 2nd half, passes so good that the receiver didn’t expect to see them) and knocked down his own shots.

Eric Paschall (23 Min, 6 Points, 4 Rebounds, 3-7 FGs, 0-1 3PFGs, 1 Turnover, 1 Block, 1 Steal, 99 ORtg)  Much better performance from Paschall than he put together at Butler.  He was more active yet still controlled on defense - his block was a great example of help defense where Marquette seemed to have successfully guarded a Brunson guarding Fischer mis-match down low but Paschall soared in from behind to swat Fischer’s shot attempt over Brunson.  Paschall was more active on the interior for his scoring opportunities and floated on the perimeter a bit less.  He has not hit a three-ball since the DePaul game.

Donte DiVincenzo (29 Min, 8 Points, 2-4 FG, 0-2 3PFG, 4-4 FTs, 1 Rebound, 6 Assists, 3 Turnovers, 1 Steal, 128 ORtg)  DiVincenzo also stepped things up offensively in relation to what he was able to do against Butler.  He did a great job of keeping the ball moving on offense and anticipating where he would pass it should he get the ball - he was able to get rid of the ball more quickly, dribble less, and tally assists.  He is only beginning to scratch the surface of what he could be as a break-down, dribble-drive player at the collegiate level.  With some improvement on his handle he could better utilize his long, quick first step to turn the corner on a lot of defenders.

Villanova plays Xavier on Tuesday night at the Pavilion.

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