After the buzz of Christmas and last minute shopping, here are some things to watch for after the Yuletide holiday.
A Lump of Coal:
The men’s basketball team was handed an unwanted Christmas present last night in the game against Delaware. Midway through the first half, Kris Jenkins went down with a right knee injury. He was taken into the locker room for further evaluation and did not return to the game. Jenkins was scheduled for an MRI on his knee today, which revealed a right knee sprain and will be listed as day-to-day. With the Big East portion of the schedule coming up, it will be interesting to see how his progress is. With Christmas coming up, he will have some time to heal before next week.
Big 5 Break:
Villanova has another tough game on the horizon with #6 Xavier coming to town on New Year’s Eve to start off Big East play. Before then, the Wildcats will host the Penn Quakers in a Big 5 matchup. After a solid 4-1 start for the Quakers, they have hit a rough patch in the road. Penn has won only one game out of its last six. The lone win during this stretch came against Division III Ursinus. Penn followed that up with a tough one point loss in overtime to Drexel, who entered the game with only one win for the whole season. The Quakers boast a balanced attack, featuring four different players averaging at least 10 points per game. Leading the pack will be senior center Darien Nelson-Henry, who is enjoying an improved season. Nelson-Henry is Penn’s top scorer and rebounder for Penn, coming in with 13.3 points per game and 9.4 boards per game. He will look to get Penn out of its slump, as they will try to upset Villanova on Monday, December 28. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.
Big East Beginnings:
The following day, on Tuesday, December 29, the women’s basketball team begin conference play with a road game at Butler. The Wildcats rebounded after back-to-back losses with a win over Big 5 rival La Salle last week, and will look to continue that success to start off Big East play on the right foot. It will also be the Bulldogs’ first Big East game of the season, going into Tuesday night winning only one of their last five games. A win on Tuesday would bring Butler back to an even record at 6-6. Butler is led by seniors Blaire Langlois and Belle Obert. Langlois is Butler’s top scorer, with 14.2 points per game. Meanwhile, Obert is a solid contributor at the forward position, averaging just over seven points and rebounds per game. Also look for freshman Tori Schickel to provide a spark off the bench, averaging a double-double so far this season. Schickel has 12.8 point per game and 10 boards per game. Tip-off for Tuesday night’s game is scheduled for 7 p.m.