Dec. 10, 2012
VILLANOVA, Pa. - Another local rivalry game is on tap for Villanova as it hosts Saint Joseph's on Tuesday night at the Pavilion (7:02 p.m./ESPNU and 1210 WPHT Radio). The Wildcats hope to even their Philadelphia Big Five mark at 2-2 after downing Penn 68-55 on Saturday night at the Palestra.
The Hawks come to Villanova with a 5-2 and already own one victory over a BIG EAST program, having defeated Notre Dame last month at the Barclay's Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. This is Saint Joseph's first City Series contest of 2012-13.
"Their length and athleticism is really impressive," states Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "As impressive as their win over Notre Dame was, I was really struck about how well they competed against Florida State. That is one of the most athletic teams in the country and Saint Joseph's was right there with them. I think this is one of the most athletic teams we are going to play against all year."
Villanova is 5-4 overall.
"The big thing for us," said Jay Wright, "is to keep getting better. I thought we got a little bit better at Penn and we have to keep doing that every day."
With Achraf Yacoubou coming off the bench to supply 13 points to set the Villanova scoring pace on Saturday night, the Wildcats have now had seven different players lead the squad in scoring through nine games. On Saturday night, seven Wildcats scored between seven and 12 points in the contest.
"I like that balance," notes Wright, "but I'd like to see it get to the point where you have two or three guys consistently scoring for us. Our balance can be a positive for us if we do it the right way."
The Wildcats connected on just .333 of their field goal attempts in this meeting last season while the Hawks converted better than 50 percent of their attempts from the floor. Saint Joseph's also posted a 42-34 rebounding advantage and was 7-of-16 from beyond the 3-point arc.
"They are a tough, experienced team that has played together for a while," Wright stated. "We are looking forward to another tough Big Five game."