As expected, the Villanova Wildcats overwhelmed the Northwood (Florida) Seahawks 93-50 in their exhibition opener (in a nationally televised game) at the Pavilion on Tuesday night (November 4th). The Wildcats entered the new season ranked at #12 in the USA Today Coaches poll. Northwood, coached by the legendary Rollie Massimino, was coming to the Pavilion after playing the Iowa Hawkeyes of the Big Ten on Sunday.
Villanova was paced by senior Darrun Hilliard who scored 20 points. Four other Wildcats scored in double figures: Daniel Ochefu registered a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds, Dylan Ennis also added a dozen points, and both Ryan Arcidiacono and freshman Phil Booth had 11 points. Northwood’s high scorer was Malte Ziegenhagen with 13 points. Fred Mattison chipped in with 12 points.
The night was one of celebration as the 1985 NCAA Men’s basketball championship team was honored before the game. With the exception of Ed Pinckney and Veltra Dawson, the members of the 1985 team were all in attendance. On hand were Dwight Wilbur, R.C. Massimino, Brian Harrington, Harold Pressley, Gary McLain, Steve Pinone, Mark Plansky, Harold Jensen, Dwayne McClain, Chuck Everson, Wyatt Maker, and Connally Brown. Also in attendance were Marty Marbach and Steve Lapppas, who served as assistants to Coach Massimino during that miraculous season. This was the first coaching appearance for Coach Massimino at the Pavilion since March 18, 1992.
In a nod to the 1985 era, fans tossed blue and white streamers onto the court after the first Villanova basket. The result was a technical foul on the home team; a small price to pay for the homage paid to the former coach and players.
Villanova returns to the hardwood on November 9th when they plays Nyack at Wells Fargo Center (12pm) in an exhibition game. Villanova opens the regular season on November 14 when they play Lehigh University at 8pm. in the new PPL Arena in Allentown, PA.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
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You can check out an expanded photo gallery (from both games) below (click images to enlarge):