Villanova hosted their second and final preseason game at the Wells Fargo Center at noon today. Earlier this week, the Villanova Athletics department announced that there would be free admission for all fans who come out to watch the game. The Wildcats took on the Nyack Warriors from Division-II. The Warriors are coached by Jason Crafton, the former Administrative Assistant and Video Coordinator for Villanova from 2003-2005.
The Wildcats started the game off with a bang, JayVaughn Pinkston fed Daniel Ochefu in the post for a nice dunk and first basket of the game. The Pinkston-Ochefu tandem would prove to be a formidable force inside. They would set the pace for the rest of the team, as Villanova would build onto their lead. Darrun Hilliard would chip in back-to-back three pointers early in the first half to make it 13-4 with 15:46 remaining. Villanova’s 3/4 press continued to create problems for the opposition, the Warriors turned the ball over 13 times in the first half alone. Meanwhile, the Wildcats would capitalize and score 21 first half points off of turnovers. Villanova would establish a dominant 48-22 lead going into halftime. They also had a 30-17 rebounding advantage over Nyack.
The second half continued to be more of the same. Villanova continued to dominate the paint by scoring and grabbing boards. About midway through the second half, Ochefu had a pair of blocks that would spark a dunk by Darryl Reynolds. The sophomore forward had a productive day on the court, finishing off a pair of nice dunks. He logged eight points, five rebounds, and two blocks in 16 minutes of playing time. He seemed comfortable out on the hardwood and proved it with his solid showing. There were a number of fast breaks and scoring in transition opportunities that the Wildcats made. They would put it into cruise control and ride their gargantuan lead to an 82-45 victory.
Dylan Ennis seems to have the starting spot on lockdown. He had another good performance, with 14 points, three rebounds, and two assists in 27 minutes. Ennis was able to find a nice balance between attacking the basket and pulling up for the open three (sinking two of his six long range attempts). Hilliard and Pinkston were the high scorers of the night, with each of them posting 15 points. Daniel Ochefu had another double-double, finishing with 11 points and a whopping 20 rebounds – 12 of which came in the first half alone. Ryan Arcidiacono shot 4-for-5 on the floor tonight, but was a big contributor on the defensive end. The junior guard had the quick hands, picking up five steals. Kris Jenkins was out for today’s game, he is listed as day-to-day with left shoulder tendonitis.
Villanova was more efficient on offense, making 46.3% of their shots, as opposed to Nyack’s 23.4%. They also out-rebounded Nyack, 56-39. The Wildcats shot a discouraging 4-for-25 from beyond the arc (0-for-8 in the second half), but it was good to see them readjust and take it inside against the smaller Nyack team.
Preseason is now over and the Wildcats will open up the regular season against Lehigh at the new PPL Center in Allentown, PA. Tip-off is at 8 p.m. on Friday night.