AP

Cats Pound Georgetown

Villanova pounded Georgetown today in D.C., 81-55 to close out the regular season for both teams ...

#2 Villanova closed out the regular season with a convincing 81-55 victory over Georgetown in D.C. this afternoon.  The win gives the Cats a 28-3 overall record after finishing 15-3 in the Big East and sweeping the out-of-conference schedule for only the second time in program history (the first being the 2014-25 season - in which the Cats finished a program record, 29-2 in the regular season).  Villanova has earned the #1 Seed in next week’s Big East Tournament and will play a Quarterfinal game on Thursday at Noon against either St. John’s or Georgetown (TV: FS1)

Villanova got quality performances from Seniors Josh Hart (21 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists), Kris Jenkins (19 points), and Darryl Reynolds (7 rebounds in 27 minutes off the bench).  Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Donte DiVincenzo also contributed significantly to the W.  The Cats benefitted from L.J. Peak getting in significant foul trouble and playing on twelve minutes while the Hoya big men didn’t get much done in the paint at all.  ‘Nova’s defense contributed to twenty Hoya turnovers while the Cats limited Georgetown to only eight offensive rebounds.

The Cats played hard, shared the ball effectively on offense and generally took good shots.  Defensively, they allowed only Rodney Pryor (21 points) to scorer over seven points.

Goods:

  • +13 in Turnovers
  • Shot 54.8% from 
  • Held Georgetown to 0.80 points per possession
  • Having L.J. Peak play only 12 minutes due to fouls was huge for the Cats - who generally struggle to contain him off the dribble
  • 64 bench minutes
  • +6 scoring margin from the stripe and +12 from beyond the arc
  • Rebounding was a push

Others:

  • Committed 20 fouls

Players:

Josh Hart (33 Min, 21 Points, 8-15 FG, 4-8 3PFG, 1-2 FTs, 6 Rebounds, 4 Assists, 3 Turnovers, 3 Steals, 1 Block, 117 ORtg)  Hart earned game MVP and performed well enough to likely end the season statistically rated as the best player in not only the Big East Conference but the entire country per kenpom.  He earned game MVP honors in 38.7% of Villanova’s games (that is overall MVP - not just Wildcat MVP).  It would be shocking if Hart were not named Big East POY and consensus 1st Team All-American.  The intrigue will come in tracking the National Player of the Year Awards to see if Hart will pull in one of those honors.  In this game, he shot the three-ball well, was a force on the glass, and was instrumental in the quick 8-0 ‘Nova scoring outburst that bust the game open in the second-half.  He knows when to step up in games.

Kris Jenkins (28 Min, 19 Points, 4-8 FG, 0-4 3PFG, 11-13 FT, 3 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 0 Steals, 2 Turnovers, 138 ORtg)  His three-point stroke is a smidge off kilter right now but he has four days to straighten it out before the post-season begins.  Jenkins did most of his damage from the free-throw line and was a perfect 4-4 from two-point range.  Big Smoove was aggressive looking for his shot and this helped him to create offense at the free-throw line.

Mikal Bridges (33 Min, 12 points, 5-10 FGs, 1-3 3PFG, 1-2 FTs, 7 Rebounds, 1 Assist, 0 Turnovers, 2 Steals, 2 Blocks, 122 ORtg)  Another efficient outing for Bridges.  He opened the scoring with a three-ball, slithered to the rim for some second-half buckets, played great defense, and chipped in plenty on the boards.  He looks ready to go for the post-season … bringing his all-around game to bear and always playing within himself. 

Jalen Brunson (26 Min, 17 Points, 4-10 FGs, 1-3 3PFG, 8-8 FTs, 4 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 2 Turnovers, 0 Steals, 118 ORtg)  Brunson did most of his scoring in the first half.  He played a solid floor game.  He made a spectacular second-half play where he picked just the right angle to grab a D-board in front of a Hoya player but recognized he needed to reverse direction to avoid a potential collision and, most importantly, break into open court.  He quickly went behind the back and then took it to the rim for a lay-up with a defender chasing him from behind.  Super job at the FT line.

Eric Paschall (16 Min, 4 Points, 1-2 FGs, 0-0 3PFG, 2-3 FT, 1 Rebound, 0 Assists, 0 Turnovers, 1 Steal, 0 Block, 130 ORtg)  Paschall picked the right game to have some foul trouble and see his minutes limited.  Luckily Reynolds was available off the bench to back-up Paschall as he played on sixteen minutes.

Darryl Reynolds (27 Min, 0 Points, 0 Shots, 7 Rebounds, 2 Assists, 1 Turnover, 2 Steals, 106 ORtg)  Highly encouraging effort for the Senior.  Returning to action after his injury, he logged perhaps more minutes than expected and showed the comfort level with his conditioning and flexibility to be very competitive on the boards and to set numerous screens.  Though he didn’t take any shots, he made a difference passing the ball, defending and, as mentioned, cleaning the glass.

Donte DiVincenzo (28 Min, 8 Points, 3-8 FG, 2-5 3PFG, 0-2 FT, 3 Rebounds, 3 Assists, 0 Turnovers, 2 Steals, 0 Block, 104 ORtg)  DiVincenzo drained a three-ball shortly after entering the game and continued to play with confidence on both ends of the court.  He soared in to grab some defensive rebounds, drilled another jumper and used his athleticism to be disruptive on the defensive end of the court.  Solid effort and results for DiVincenzo today.

Dylan Painter (9 Min, 0 Points, 0-1 FG, 0 Rebounds, 0 TO)  His comfort level seems to be increasing with each game.  He looks more the part every time he gets more run.  He didn’t do much damage in the box score but his effort is strong.  Defensively, he has a long way to go to be able to contribute at a high level in the Cats’ switching defense - but he can take up space in the lane and compete on the glass.  Ideally, the Cats are only looking to steal 5 minutes a game with Painter once Reynolds is fully back in the mix.

Villanova (#2 AP, 28-3 overall, 15-3 Big East) now has a break until the Quarterfinals of the Big East Tournament.  The Cats will face the winner of the 8 Seed vs. 9 Seed game between St. John’s and Georgetown at Noon next Thursday at Madison Square Garden (TV: FS1).

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