Nov. 13, 2005
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Senior guard Allan Ray (Bronx, N.Y.) scored 14 of his game-high 22 points in the first 7:24 of the game and Villanova notched an 85-45 victory over Division II West Chester in an exhibition game on Sunday night from The Pavilion. The Wildcats opened the game with a 28-6 run in the first eight minutes of the contest and led by as many as 44 points in their only pre-season exhibition.
"I am pleased with our effort tonight, especially considering it is so early in the season," Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. "After playing so hard against each other in practice the past few weeks, it is good for the players to be on the floor for a while and compete against someone else."
Villanova shot 61 percent in a high-tempo first half that included 9-of-14 accuracy from three-point range. Senior guard Randy Foye (Newark, N.J.) opened the game with a three-pointer 19 seconds after the opening tip and the Wildcats led 8-0 less than two minutes later. Ray hit the first of his six shots from long range with 17:03 showing and scored 14 points in under five minutes as Villanova built a big lead. The Wildcats led 50-25 at halftime and never led by less than that in the final 20 minutes.
Ray wound up with 22 points on 7-of-8 shooting and was 6-of-7 from behind the three-point arc. He added five rebounds and five assists in his 25 minutes to lead three Wildcats in double figures. Foye contributed 16 points and four rebounds, while senior center Jason Fraser (Amityville, N.Y.) chipped in 10 points and five rebounds in 16 minutes.
"It is really good for us to play a four-guard lineup," Ray said. "We have so many guys that are good at driving and penetrating, and the attention they get helps to open up shots for me. When we get into league games there is going to be a lot more defensive pressure on me and hopefully that will open things up for my teammates."
Aaron Williams led the Golden Rams with 11 points and a game-high nine rebounds, while Mark Gerhart tallied seven points and three steals. West Chester hit on 17-of-61 shots for the night and shot 28 percent from the field.
Sophomore guard Kyle Lowry (Philadelphia, Pa.) opened the second half with a three-point play and Foye scored consecutive baskets to push the lead to 55-25. Later in the period, a 20-8 run spanned seven minutes and pushed the margin to 81-38 with under four minutes remaining.
"It might sound strange for a team with several seniors, but we are a work in progress," Wright said. "We saw tonight that we need to have a different rotation at times. We went with a small, four-guard lineup a lot tonight but we saw that there are times when we have to be big. I like the way our forwards played together tonight."
The Wildcats open the regular season this Friday (November 18) at home against Stony Brook. Tip-off at The Pavilion is slated for 7:30 p.m. against the Seawolves, who are members of the America East Conference.
ADDITIONAL POST-GAME QUOTES
Senior guard Allan Ray talking about the upcoming season:
"The last three years we have listened and learned a lot. We had a great season last year but now everything is new. It is a different year and we think that whatever good things happen this year will be built off the season we had a year ago. We have to go back to the basics and get off to a good start."
Senior center Jason Fraser on the 2005-06 season:
"We came in not really knowing what to expect but we had the right mindset going into the preseason. We know that Coach Wright had a plan and we wanted to be a part of that. We knew that he had the best players possible and wanted to have a successful season."
Fraser on coming back from surgery during the summer:
"It felt good to be out there and my body responded well to playing against real competition. It is a little frustrating at times but the repetition of each play felt good tonight."