Villanova Falls 71 – 59 to Connecticut
PHILADELPHIA, PA. 3//4/2023 –
The Villanova Wildcats came into this game on a three-game winning streak against upper echelon Big East teams. They could not extend that as the University of Connecticut downed Villanova 71 – 59 at the Wells Fargo Center. Nova concludes the regular season with a 16 – 15 record and 10 – 10 in the Big East.
Big Road Win for UConn
The Huskies also were on winning streak that now stands at five games. Coach Dan Hurley felt it was a big road win against a hot team in the league. UConn came out and got an early lead and stretched the advantage to 32 – 24 at halftime. Villanova never regained the lead.
“We played a good team and I thought they came out, set the tone and played the game on their terms,” said Villanova Coach Kyle Neptune.
Cold Shooting By Villanova
The Wildcats were held to their lowest offensive point total in a loss. They scored less in two other games, but won; 57 against St. John’s, and 58 over Seton Hall. In this game the Cats made 20 of 55 (36.4%) and sank only 7 of 28 (25%) from three-point land. Credit to the UConn defense.
“They make you miss,” Neptune said about why his team was not shooting well. “There is a reason why their defensive numbers are where they are, taking away three’s, there is a reason for that. They did a good job.”
What the Numbers Say
The Huskies made 25 of 56 field goal attempts and 8 of 27 from distance. Not markedly better than the Wildcats, but enough to keep Nova at bay. Villanova made 12 of 18 from the line where UConn was 13 of 14.
Connecticut won the rebounding battle 38 – 31.
Justin Moore led Nova with 17 points. He sank 3 of 10 from beyond the arc. Cam Whitmore scored 14 points. Caleb Daniels pulled down a team-high 7 rebounds.
Jordan Hawkins scored a game-high 24 points for the Huskies. He went 7 of 17 from the floor, 3 of 11 from three-point land, and did capitalize from the free throw line making 7 of 8. Alex Karaban scored 16 points while Andre Jackson, Jr. added 10 points and a game-high 5 assists. Adama Sanogo grabbed a game-best 9 rebounds.
The Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Villanova is the 6th seed and will meet Georgetown in the first round on March 8. The Wildcats go in to the tournament confident in their ability.
“Our confidence level is always high,” said Wildcats guard Justin Moore. “We know what we are capable of doing. Great teams take it one game at a time. We know we have to come back tomorrow and get better.”
UConn (24 – 7, 13 – 7) is the 4th seed and will play #5 Providence in the quarterfinal round on March 9.
Written By: Glenn Papazian