I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving weekend. As the tryptophan from the Thanksgiving turkey flushes itself out of our systems, we unfortunately have to gear up for the work week ahead. Before we do that, let’s take a look back at the week that was.
Legends Classic Champions:
It wasn’t easy, the Barclays Center was sent on a roller coaster of emotions. Not only did the final round include twists, turns, and the good ol’ fashioned loop-de-loops, it all came to a screeching halt for one of the teams involved. The Wildcats awaited the winner of Oregon-Michigan after taking down VCU. Villanova played a perfect second half against VCU, breaking down the infamous “havoc” defense with ease. The Wildcats had crisp ball movement and showed no nervousness against the various presses and double teams that came their way. At the end of the night, Villanova won convincingly, 77-53. They beat the Rams in every box score category. In the finals against the Michigan Wolverines, it wasn’t going to be as easy as the VCU game. After blowing a 13 point lead, both teams engaged in a back-and-forth exchange that came down to the wire. After Michigan’s Mark Donnal missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have extended the Wolverines’ one point lead, Villanova had less than a minute to come up with a solution. The answer? JayVaughn Pinkston. They fed Pinkston in the paint and he delivered, sinking the layup to give Villanova a one point edge. Michigan had the last possession of the game. With 7.8 seconds left, Michigan inbounded the ball to an open Zak Irvin. Irvin had the lane for an easy dunk, but Pinkston came in and rejected the shot. A few free throws later, Villanova protected their lead and brought the trophy back to the Main Line.
Full Recap: Villanova Wreaks Havoc on VCU in Brooklyn
Full Recap (with highlights of JVP’s block): Madness in November: Villanova Wins Legends Classic Finale
The Villanova football team took it easy this past week. They were able to enjoy their Thanksgiving weekend, thanks to a first-round bye. The Wildcats will face Liberty, who defeated James Madison 26-21. The Flames shutout the Dukes in the second half, as they pieced a 16 point comeback. The run was capped off by a Nicky Faulaau one-yard touchdown with 2:53 left in the game that sealed the deal. Aside from that, the all-conference teams were released earlier in the week. John Robertson was named the CAA Offensive Player of the Year. He was also named to first team all-CAA honors alongside linebacker Don Cherry and offensive tackle Vince Kowalski. Poppy Livers, Ross Hall, Pat Williams, and Joe Sarnese were named second team all-CAA. Kevin Monangai, Gary Underwood, and Jason Ceneus rounded up the nominations, taking third team all-CAA honors. Congrats to the football team, good luck this week and beat Liberty.
Article: All-CAA Teams Announced Today: Ten Wildcats Receive Honors
Article: 2015 FCS Tournament Bracket Announced
“Battle of the Blue” Takes the Hardwood:
Earlier today, the men’s basketball team faced off against familiar football rival Delaware. The Wildcats entered the matchup 5-0, while the Blue Hens came in at 0-4. Villanova was head and shoulders above the struggling Blue Hens. The absences of Jarvis Threatt and Kyle Anderson have been felt by this young Delaware squad that is struggling to find their footing. The Wildcats came out and grabbed an early lead over the Blue Hens. They never gave it up, putting a display of dominance from start to finish. Villanova’s defense held Delaware to a 31 shooting percentage overall. Aside from a few instances, the Wildcats had no problem executing their offensive game plan. Their smooth ball movement allowed them to find the open man for a good opportunity at the basket. Villanova held a 21-9 edge in assists over Delaware. The Wildcats scored from all over the floor, in the paint to beyond the arc. Everyone got a piece of the action in the 31 point victory. Villanova caps off the week at 3-0, improving their record to 6-0 overall.
Full Recap: A Tale of Two Teams: Villanova Cruises Past Delaware
Ending on a Good Note:
While the men’s basketball team played in the bright lights of New York, the women’s basketball team headed down south to sunny Naples, Florida, for the Gulf Coast Showcase. The Wildcats opened up against the Arizona State Sun Devils. A jumper by Alex Louin gave Villanova a 46-40 lead with 2:54 left in the game. Unfortunately, the Sun Devils weren’t going to go down quietly. A late 11-0 run doomed Villanova, and they lost the opener to Arizona State.
Next up was Georgia Tech, who held a decisive lead at one point in the game over Villanova. The Wildcats launched a comeback to trim the lead down from 17 to just five. However, time became their biggest opponent. A late cold streak by both teams ran the clock down without any points going on the board, resulting in the Yellow Jackets’ ability to hang on for the win.
The last game took place earlier today, when they took on Charleston. A first half 16-0 run for the Wildcats gave them the lead over Charleston. From there, Villanova fed off of the positive energy and built on their lead. The Wildcats took a 31-19 lead into the half. Charleston came out of the break with a 7-0 run, cutting it close. Villanova found their groove again and went on a run of their own to propel them further away from the Cougars. They put up a decisive 60-41 win on the final day of the Gulf Coast Showcase.