Dec. 16, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Sophomore JayVaughn Pinkston scored 19 points to lead a strong effort from Villanova's reserves as the Wildcats posted a 75-65 victory over Delaware on Sunday afternoon at the Pavilion. The win was the third in a row for the `Cats, who improve to 7-4 overall. Delaware drops to 3-8 overall.
"This was a good win for us against a talented Delaware group," stated Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "They were very well prepared and defended our personnel very well. I thought we responded to that pretty well.
The Wildcats reserves outscored Delaware's 38-16, led by Pinkston's 19 points (he also had six rebounds). Freshman Daniel Ochefu supplied a season-high 11 points to go with seven rebounds. Senior starter Maurice Sutton established a new career high with six blocked shots to go with five assists, eight rebounds and one steal in 22 minutes for the winners. As a team, VU blocked a season-high nine shots on the day.
Devon Saddler led the Blue Hens with 19 points.
The contest's early minutes saw Delaware gain the upper hand on the strength of strong work at the offensive end. The Blue Hens converted their first four field goal attempts, including a 3-point goal from Saddler and two baskets from Jamelle Hagins to grab a 9-5 lead three minutes into the contest.
As it has done frequently of late, though, Villanova's bench helped give the Wildcats a lift. Sophomore Achraf Yacoubou provided four early points off the bench and VU pulled back in front at 17-15 midway through the period.
"The bench really gave us great energy," stated Wright. "For whatever reason, maybe it was exams, I didn't think we started the game off with great energy other than Mo Sutton, who kind of kept us in the game early. But those (reserve) guys got us going."
The game stayed tight through the rest of the first 20 minutes. Villanova held its largest lead of the period at 25-20 after Darrun Hilliard drained a long triple with the shot clock nearing zero. But the Blue Hens came right back with baskets from Jarvis Threatt and Josh Brinkley to cut the gap to 25-24 with 3:47 left in the period.
Villanova took a 32-28 lead into the break. Bell set the scoring pace with eight points in the period and the Wildcats held the edge despite converting on just 13-of-33 (.394) attempts from field in the first half in contrast to Delaware's .522 effort.
Pinkston opened the second half in the starting lineup and delivered quick results scoring eight points in the first three minutes of the period to help VU build a 41-31 lead.
"Our forwards did a great job of finding each other," stated Wright.
The Wildcats connected on .519 percent of their attempts after the break and built a 71-53 lead with just under three minutes to play in the contest. The final count was 75-65.
Another key to the win was rebounding, where the Wildcats owned a 43-27 edge over the Blue Hens. Six different Wildcats had three or more caroms to their credit on the night.
Villanova takes a break for final exams this week before returning to the court next Saturday evening at Monmouth (7:00 p.m./espn3.com).