It was another week of men’s and women’s basketball. So far, 2016 has been kind to both teams.
Men’s basketball improved to 3-0 in Big 5 play in a win against Penn to start off the week. The Wildcats used a 30-3 run that stretched over the first 14 minutes of the game in order to establish control. Penn could never recover, but did outscore the Wildcats in the second half. Regardless, Villanova found much success attacking the basket and getting to the free throw line en route to a 77-57 lead. The Wildcats were 25-for-51 (49.0%) overall. Jalen Brunson scored 20 of his 22 points in the second half alone in the winning effort. Daniel Ochefu finished with a double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
The women’s team also picked up a victory, beating the Butler Bulldogs 57-45. However, they didn’t have the same luxury of being able to cruise to the finish line. The game remained closely contested until the fourth quarter, where Villanova was able to get off to a 10-0 run to separate itself from Butler. During this stretch, Caroline Coyer scored eight of her game-high 21 points. Once the Wildcats pushed the lead into double figures, it would never dip below to single digits for the rest of the game. The win signified their first win in conference play of the season.
Article: Game Preview: Penn Quakers
Recap: Villanova’s Dominant Start Paves the Way to Victory over Penn
Recap: Wildcats Earn First Big East Win at Butler
New Year’s Eve with Xavier:
The men’s and women’s teams spent their New Year’s Eve on the court with Xavier. The men’s team took on the Musketeers at home in a top 10 matchup. There was a scary moment at the beginning of the game, when Xavier’s Edmond Sumner hit the court hard after a being fouled on a layup attempt. Sumner had to be carried off on a stretcher. The Musketeers never seemed to recover, as the Wildcats took it to them throughout the whole game. Ryan Arcidiacono tied a career-high seven made three-pointers in the 95-64 win. Everyone on Villanova’s starting lineup scored at least 10 points.
Unfortunately, the women’s team couldn’t replicate the same success over at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati. Villanova almost stole the game away from the Musketeers, who had been leading for most of the game. Xavier got a layup to go with 4.1 seconds left in the game to force overtime, shortly after Villanova seemingly had the go-ahead three-pointer from Adrianna Hahn. In overtime, the Musketeers went on to win 74-67, after holding the ‘Cats to just a pair of free throws and one made basket. Hahn provided a team-high 25 points off the bench. Megan Quinn had 10 points and 13 boards.
Article: Game Preview: #6 Xavier Musketeers
Recap: Men’s Basketball Closes 2015 with Win Over #6 Xavier
Recap: Women’s Basketball Falls in OT at Xavier
2016 and Beyond:
Both teams started off the year with a win. The men’s team played in Omaha late on Saturday night and emerged with an 85-71 victory over the Bluejays. While their three-point shooting paved the way to victory against Xavier, the Wildcats put their signature long range shooting aside and opted to take it inside instead. Villanova had zero offensive rebounds for the whole game, but they didn’t need them. The Wildcats were 28-for-32 (87.5%) from inside the arc. Josh Hart and Daniel Ochefu fell two points shy of matching career highs. Hart scored a game-high 25 points off of a 10-of-14 shooting performance. Meanwhile, Ochefu was 9-for-10 on the floor en route to a 19 point performance.
The women’s team played earlier this afternoon, blowing out the Providence Friars at home. The Wildcats connected on 15 three-pointers in the 67-39 win. Once they took the lead in the opening minutes of the game, they never looked back. Villanova kept pouring it on to watch its lead grow. Megan Quinn had her second straight double-double, scoring a game-high 16 points and 13 rebounds. Alex Louin added another 13 points, while Katherine Coyer had 10. Villanova’s defense was tough, holding Providence to shooting just 29.8% on the floor. Not one Friar scored more than eight points in the game.
Article: Game Preview: Creighton Bluejays
Recap: Inside Scoring is Key in Win Over Creighton
Former Wildcat Kevin Monangai (’15) signed on to the Philadelphia Eagles’ practice squad earlier this week. The Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) product enjoyed a great four year career on the Main Line and was with the Eagles earlier in the NFL season before being cut in the preseason.
Also, just before 2015 closed we released our top 10 moments in Villanova Athletics of 2015. Stories from men’s basketball, football, track & field, cross country, volleyball, softball, and swimming made the list. 2016 is already here, but there were a lot of great moments in 2015 and there’s bound to be many more this year.
Article: Former ‘Nova Running Back Kevin Monangai Signs with Eagles’ Practice Squad
Article: Top 10 Moments in Villanova Athletics of 2015