Fresh off their tournament victory in South Carolina (completing a four year sweep of November tournaments for the senior class), #2 Villanova returned home on Thanksgiving Eve to host the College of Charleston at the Pavilion. Continuing the trend of the past two games, Phil Booth sat the contest out with tendonitis in his knee. Kris Jenkins started the game on the bench as punishment for missing a class this week. Eric Paschall took his place in the starting line-up.
Paschall opened the scoring for Villanova on their first possession on a sweet dunk and at the first break in the action, at the 12:32 mark, Villanova held a 12-7 lead, paced by Josh Hart’s 5 points.
Villanova opened up a 10-2 run out of the timeout and led 22-9 after an old fashioned three-point play on a throw down dunk and made free-throw by Darryl Reynolds. The run became a 18-4 point swing following a pair of made free-throws by Paschall and a three-pointer from Jenkins to expand Villanova’s lead to 30-14 with just over 5 minutes to play.
At the half, the Wildcats led the Cougars by a score of 35-21. Hart paced the Wildcats with 9 point (3-3 FG), Jenkins chipped in 8, and Paschall and Reynolds each contributed 6. With Mikel Bridges adding 4 points and Donte Divincenzo with 2, the only Villanova player to not score in the first half was Jalen Brunson who missed all 3 of his field goal attempts. Joe Chealey led the way for College of Charleston with 6 points at the half. Villanova was +5 on the boards in the opening 20 minutes with Paschall leading the effort with 4 rebounds.
The Cougars opened the second half scoring on a 4-0 mini-run until Brunson completed an old-fashioned three-point play at the 16:56 mark which opened up a 10-0 run from the Wildcats (including a two-pointer by Hart and a three-pointer by Jenkins to put both players in double digit scoring).
A Divincenzo three-pointer out of the official time-out at 11:47, gave Villanova a 50-30 lead. Both teams got a little cold at that point and heading into a foul on College of Charleston at the 6:35 mark, Villanova still held a 20 point lead, 54-34. The Cougars cut the lead to 16, 61-45 with a three-pointer with just over 3 minutes to play, and followed it up with 2 made free-throws to make it a 14 ball game with 2:35 to play.
At the 1:22 mark, Dylan Painter hit a lay-up for the Wildcats, his first made field goal in his Villanova career (moments earlier he hit his first free-throw). The bucket was also the last points scored in the game and Villanova downed College of Charleston by a final score of 63-47. With the win, Villanova improved to 6-0 on the season. College of Charleston dropped to 3-3.
Hart led the Wildcats in both scoring and rebounding with his double-double of 13 points and 11 boards. Jenkins was the only other Villanova player to score in double figures with 11. Jarrell Brantley, the only Cougars’ player to score in double figures, dropped a game-high 18 points. Villanova shot 43.8% from the field for the game vs. 35.2% for College of Charleston. Villanova was a bit shaky from the charity stripe, sinking 16 of 24 (66.7%) but managed to attempt 18 more free-throws than the Cougars. The Wildcats won the battle of the boards by a 35-30 margin.
Next up for Villanova is a Big Five match-up against the Penn Quakers at the Palestra on Tuesday, November 29 (7pm).