Villanova bounced back on Tuesday night with a lopsided win over the Delaware Blue Hens. Villanova won comfortably, beating the Blue Hens 78-48.
“A lot of good things tonight and obviously some things we need to work on,” Villanova caoch Jay Wright said. “The Delaware team just went at BC and lost by eight and played pretty well. They are a better team than probably it looked, Holden and Hayes are two great guards.”
The ‘Cats were off to another slow start. Delaware started out hot, as star sophomore guard Kory Holden sank three of the Hens’ first four three pointers within the first four minutes of the half (the other three pointer coming from junior guard Cazmon Hayes).
The tide quickly changed once Jalen Brunson sank three straight baskets from long range to get Villanova going. It would spark a 16-1 run that gave Villanova the lead, from there, they never looked back.
The Wildcats kept its offensive game plan simple: shoot threes like they’re going out of business, and press in the paint as needed in the event the threes aren’t there. This game plan worked for the ‘Cats in the first half and the rest of the game, as they finished with a solid 37.1% three point percentage (this was a dip from their first half three pointer percentage, which sat just above 50%).
Josh Hart led the way for the ‘Cats with an efficient performance. The junior guard finished with 18 points, including four three pointers off of six attempts. He also left an impression on the glass, corraling 14 rebounds. Ryan Arcidiacono chipped in 11 points. Brunson had 13 points.
The ‘Cats would go on to run away with the first half once they took the lead, as their raining threes offense put up points in bunches. Their scrappy defense also severely limited the Delaware offensive output as well. At half the game was 47-26 Villanova.
This 21 point difference in score would never change much in the second half, as Villanova coasted to victory.
“I think that gradually our shot selection is getting better and I think it will as the season goes on, and our shooting percentage will increase as we start getting a better shot selection,” Wright said.
For Delaware, Kory Holden finished with a game-high 23 points. He was 8-for-16 on the floor, including a 6-of-10 three point shooting performance. However, he did have eight turnovers. Cazmon Hayes added another 14 points. The duo combined for over 75% of Delaware’s points for the night.
While the victory tasted sweet, an even bigger concern looms. The win was expected, but another injury to add to Villanova’s list was not. Midway through the first half Kris Jenkins injured his knee. He was tended to by trainers and was taken into the locker room for further evaluation. He did not return to the game.
The seriousness of the injury is not yet known. It may be more than just a simple sprain. With Tim Delaney out for the season and Donte Divincenzo out for another 3-5 weeks, this is not what the already thin Villanova Wildcats needed. Jenkins is scheduled to get an MRI tomorrow and from there a more precise diagnosis can be obtained.
The Wildcats take on the Penn Quakers on Monday, December 28. Right after that, the Wildcats will have their hands full with #6 Xavier on New Year’s Eve. Villanova can’t afford to lose Jenkins. For now, it’s just the waiting game.