Nov. 2, 2013
VILLANOVA, Pa. - The Villanova Wildcats rode a strong defensive effort to an 88-50 victory over the West Chester Golden Rams in an exhibition basketball contest played here today at the Wells Fargo Center.
Junior forward JayVaughn Pinkston scored 27 points for Villanova on 8-of-12 shooting from the field while junior Darrun Hilliard was 6-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc and added a pair of free throws for 26 points. The native of Bethlehem, Pa., contributed five assists as well.
"What I liked most was that (West Chester) was 3-of-12 from three," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "When you play a team like this that is smaller than we are and have quickness, they can break you down and kick it out for open threes. I thought we did a good job handling that.
"I thought we did a good job sharing the basketball. We had 22 assists. It was good to see JayVaughn get it going offensively too."
For much of the day, the Wildcats relied on a seven man playing rotation (both Henry Lowe and Patrick Farrell did see action in the game's final minutes). Sophomore guard Ryan Arcidiacono was in uniform but did not see action after suffering bruised ribs in a practice earlier this week. Freshman Kris Jenkins sprained his right ankle with just over five minutes left in the first period and did not return. Dylan Ennis remains out after breaking a bone in his right hand last week and a sprained left ankle kept senior guard Nick McMahon out as well.
Villanova jumped out to a quick 13-0 lead over the game's first four minutes. Tony Chennault connected with James Bell for an alley-oop dunk to open the scoring and that was followed by three consecutive made 3-point goals, including a pair by junior JayVaughn Pinkston and another from junior Darrun Hilliard. A Bell drive and score pushed the advantage to 13 points.
The early success by Villanova was fueled by defense. The Wildcats limited the Golden Rams to 1-of-11 shooting from the field over the first eight minutes of the contest and built a 20-8 advantage.
By halftime, the Wildcats had extended the lead to 45-23. Pinkston set the scoring pace with 15 points for VU while Hilliard had 11. Mitchell's 10 first half points paced the Golden Rams.
The Wildcats were just as tenacious defensively in the second half as they were prior to intermission. The lead expanded to 88-48 with under a minute left in the contest. The final count was Villanova 88-50.
Villanova finished the afternoon 26-of-50 from the field (.520) and 10-of-20 from beyond the 3-point arc. Hilliard and Pinkston were a combined 9-of-10 from distance on the day. The `Cats also owned a 44-27 edge on the backboards and were paced by Daniel Ochefu, who collected 13 caroms.
The Wildcats open the regular season on Friday, Nov. 8 at the Pavilion against Lafayette.
Notes: Wright stated in his post-game remarks that the decision to hold Arcidiacono out today was made in the hopes that the sophomore can be close to 100 percent for the opener on Friday night. "We just thought it made sense to hold him out," stated the Wildcats' coach.