The Villanova Wildcats tipped-off the 2015-2016 college basketball season successfully on Friday, November 13th at the Pavilion by humbling the Fairleigh Dickinson Knights by a score of 91-54.
The ranked Wildcats had no trouble with the Knights, of the Northeast Conference. Villanova jumped out to a quick 9-0 lead, which mushroomed into double digits at the 15:32 mark of the opening half, and remained in that territory for the balance of the game. Villanova outscored the Knights 50-22 in the first half. Heralded Freshman Jalen Brunson led the way with 9 points, closely followed by Daniel Ochefu and Kris Jenkins both with 8 points. Eight of the nine Wildcats who played in the opening twenty minutes scored at least one basket.
Villanova hit 16-34 (47.1%) from the field in the first half, including 4-14 (28.6%) from distance.They outrebounded the Knights 26-16.
The Wildcats continued the onslaught in the second half. Villanova went on a 10-2 run to open the half pushing the lead to 60-25 at the 17:36 mark. With under six minutes to go, Villanova boosted its lead to a game-high 44 points, 86-42.
Villanova had 5 players score in double figures. Senior, Ochefu led the Wildcats with 16 points, to go along with a game high 10 boards. Kris Jenkins added 14 points, Senior Ryan Arcidiacono, and Brunson each chipped in a dozen points, and Josh Hart contributed 10. Darryl Reynolds grabbed 9 rebounds. Phil Booth, Arcidiacono, and Brunson each had 4 assists to pace the Wildcats in that category. Villanova had 20 assists against 12 turnovers. Overall, Villanova hit 32-69 shots from the field (46.4%), 10 of 36 from three-point range (27.8%). Villanova totally dominated the glass grabbing 53 rebounds to Fairleigh Dickinson’s 37.
For the visiting Knights, guard Darian Anderson was the top scorer with a game high 21 points. Earl Potts, Jr. was the Knights leading rebounder with 9. The Knights struggled shooting hitting only 17-63 attempts (27%).
The Villanova Wildcats return to action on Tuesday night November 17th when they host the Nebraska Cornhuskers of the Big Ten Conference at the Pavilion. The game is scheduled to tip-off at 8:30 p.m. This is part of the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games, honoring Big East founder and former Commissioner, Dave Gavitt. This will be the Cornhuskers first ever appearance at Villanova. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Network ( FS1). Fairleigh Dickinson returns home to play FDU-Florham on November 16.
With the win, the Wildcats are 14-1 in season openers under Coach Jay Wright and have won their last 12 in a row. Several former Wildcats were on hand Friday night to watch the game, most notably former NBA players Alvin Williams and Kerry Kittles.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
[Article by Stephen Miller]
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