VILLANOVA, PA. 11/23/2016 – The #2 Villanova Wildcats returned to the Pavilion after playing their last four games on the road. The home site continues to be successful for the Cats who extended the Pavilion winning streak to 41 games, and go 6 – 0 this season with a 63 – 47 win over the College of Charleston Cougars. Villanova had the lead for most of the game, but Charleston did not make it comfortable.
“This was not a pretty game, and you have to give the College of Charleston credit,” said Villanova Coach Jay Wright. “This wasn’t a team we could put away. We found a way to gut it out when everything wasn’t working well. We found a way to come out with a win.”
It has been a tough stretch for the Wildcats with the number of games especially on the road in succession early in the season. Coach Jay Wright feels the team has to learn more about the mental approach needed to be successful.
“It’s always good to be back home,” Wright said. “This was the key to Ryan and Daniel (Arcidiacono and Daniel Ochefu), a mental, mature approach to every game. They came to work every day. We are getting better at that. Josh is getting good at that, but our team has to get better at that. We have to get everybody there.”
“Somebody is going to get you if you don’t have it.”
The opening of the season is forcing the veterans on the squad to play many minutes early. However, senior Josh Hart does not mind the work load. He is not concerned about fatigue.
“As many minutes as I play, I am going to play the best that I can,” said Hart. “I am not worried out minutes. I’ll play the whole game if Coach lets me. That’s my competitive nature. I want to be out there.”
The Wildcats got out to a lead early behind a 7 – 0 run to go ahead take a 12 – 5 when they held the Cougars scoreless for 4:12. At the start of the second half the lead would stretch to 20, 45 – 25, five minutes into the half as Nova scored 10 straight points.
Hart led Villanova with 13 points and 11 rebounds to record his first double-double of the season. the senior guard was 4 of 7 from the floor and 2 for 3 from distance. Senior forward Kris Jenkins also made 4 of 7 field goal attempts to score 11 points. Overall, the Wildcats were 21 of 48 (43.8%), which included an 0 for 7 stretch at the end of the game.
Charleston made 19 of 54 (35.2%) attempts and went 4 of 22 from beyond the arc. Forward Jarrell Bailey scored a game-high 18 points.
Big Five play will begin for Villanova as they travel to the Palestra to meet Penn on November 29. In the meantime, they can enjoy a few days off, and get ready, mentally and physically, for the next game.
Written By: Glenn Papazian