Villanova tipped-off its 2012-2013 regular season against the UDC Firebirds (coached by former Philadelphia 76er Jeff Ruland) at the Pavilion on Friday night, November 9th. The game was part of the 2012 2K Sports Classic, benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project. As part of the tournament, Villanova will also play Marshall at the Pavilion on November 11, Purdue at Madison Square Garden on November 15, and either Alabama or Oregon State on November 16 (also at the Garden).
The Wildcats jumped out to a 7-0 lead, then quickly increased it to 15-2 at the 15:28 mark. Pacing the way was Freshman Ryan Arcidiacono with 8 points on three baskets, including two triples. From that point on, Villanova struggled with their shooting and turnovers. By the end of the half, the Firebirds had climbed back to within 5 points, 33-28.
At the start of the second half, UDC cut Villanova’s lead to two, 33-31 on a trey by Philly native Mike Terry. The Wildcats stormed back on a 12-2 run to push the lead to 45-34. Nova boosted the lead to 56-37 with 10:54 left in the game. The only thing that was left to decide was the margin of victory. At the final buzzer, it was Villanova by 20, 78-58.
Maurice Sutton (12 points) was the high scorer for Villanova. He was joined in double figures by Arcidiacono with 11, and Jayvaughn Pinkston with 10. Pinkston was the leading rebounder for the Wildcats with 8. Tony Chennault had 5 assists to pace Villanova in that category.
Villanova played a more effective and efficient second half to win by a sizable margin. In the second half, the Wildcats improved their shooting and dominated the glass. Coach Jay Wright summed it up when he said, “We have a lot of work to do, but will take that for the first game.”
The contest with Marshall University tips at 1 pm on Sunday.
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