February 7, 2021 –
Villanova senior Jermaine Samuels scored a career-high 32 points to lead his team to a hard fought 84 – 74 win over the Georgetown Hoyas at the Finneran Pavilion. Samuels made 10 of 17 field goal attempts, and was nearly perfect from the three-point line. He made 6 in a row missing the seventh with 27 seconds left to play.
“He came out with a fierce focus today,” Villanova Coach Jay Wright said about Samuels. “And not just aggressiveness but intelligence. He got our offense started hitting people and getting other people shots.”
The game was not all about scoring for Samuels. He contributed mightily in all aspects of the game. The forward from Franklin, MA converted all 6 free throws, pulled down 6 rebounds, and blocked three shots. His 5 assists represent a collegiate-best. And there were numerous plays that do not show up in the boxscore. For Samuels his major motivation is to play Villanova basketball.
“The important thing as a senior leader is maintaining Villanova basketball,” said Samuels. “It’s not all about scoring. It’s about getting stops defensively and holding everyone accountable to the high standards as well.”
And Wright appreciated all of the little things Samuels did.
“There were blocked shots and rebounds,” said Wright. “There were some great drives that initiated rotation from Georgetown, and he kicked it out. He didn’t get the assist, but the next guy got the assist, but that was all initiated by Jermaine.”
Notably in the last four minutes of the game Samuels blocked a shot, then assisted on a three-pointer by Caleb Daniels to increase the lead to 75 – 69. Then with just under a minute to play and leading by 7 the senior forward went in for a dunk, but missed it. Samuels did not give up on the play. He stole the ball keeping possession. Another little thing that turned out big.
“The steal he came up with was huge,” Wright said. “He missed the dunk but comes up with the ball. He did so many little things and I’m proud of him.”
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 14 points and had 6 rebounds. Collin Gillespie added 12 points and Justin Moore scored 10. The Wildcats recorded 21 assists on 27 baskets. Two other Nova players registered 5 assists, Gillespie and Robinson-Earl.
For Georgetown Jahvon Blair topped the team with 18 points. Forward Qudus Wahab scored 17 points. He made all four of his shots in the first half, then converted 4 of 7 in the second half. Wright lauded the defensive play of Cole Swider in helping to contain Wahab.
Third-ranked Villanova got a bounce back win and is 12 – 2 overall. They lead the Big East with a 7 – 1 mark. The Wildcats face Marquette on Wednesday. The Golden Eagles replaced the DePaul Blue Demons on the schedule. The Hoyas fall to 5 – 9 and 3 – 6 in conference.
Written By: Glenn Papazian