Score: Villanova 87, Penn 61
Player of the Game: Scottie Reynolds, 21 pts, 5 ast
Recap: Villanova dominated every aspect of last night's game in their 87-61 victory over the Penn Quakers. The Wildcats were bigger, stronger, and faster and it showed in the 31 point halftime lead. Penn went on the win the 2nd half by 5 points, but Villanova's starters didn't play much in the second half, as Jay Wright used his bench, playing 5 freshmen at once at one point. Even walk-on Jason Colenda got minutes at the end of the game. Nova showed its dominance on the defensive end with 14 steals and caused 27 Penn turnovers, which led to easy fast break points.
Scottie Reynolds led the Wildcats with 21 points, 5 assists, 2 rebounds, and 2 steals. Corey Fisher started in place of the injured Shane Clark and had 13 points, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 2 rebounds. Fisher ran the point most of the night, with Reynolds playing the shooting guard, and they really played well together. With Clark injured, Antonio Pena saw increases minutes, and he was very impressive. He had 12 points, 8 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 block, and 1 steal. He was an efficient 3-4 from the field, 5-6 from the free throw line, and 1-1 from the 3-point line. I think Pena has a lot of potential, and will be an important part of the rotation in the future. Dante Cunningham had 10 points, 2 blocks, and a steal, although he failed to grab a rebound in 18 minutes of action. The big man Casiem Drummond had 5 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals. But he had a poor shooting night going 2-7 from the field and 1-4 from the free throw line. He missed some easy lay-ups and needs to learn to finish stronger at the hoop. Reggie Redding had 7 points, 5 rebounds, 2 steals, and a block. Malcolm Grant had 9 points and 3 assists off the bench, providing relief for Fisher at the point, although he fouled out late in the game. Corey Stokes again had a poor shooting night going 1-8 from the field and 0-4 for three to score 4 points. He did play good defense getting 2 steals and grabbing 5 boards. He needs to be more patient offensively. He came in by Jay Wright's admission as the best pure shooter he ever recruited, and it seems like Stokes tries to prove it by shooting very difficult shots. Some of the 3-pointers he's been taking have been deep in NBA range and others have been contested. He needs to wait for the easy open shot, then once he starts making those he'll have more confidence and be able to make the tougher shots. Dwayne Anderson had 1 point, 2 rebounds, and a block off the bench. Andrew Ott had 4 points and 5 rebounds, but he is still a work in progress. He looked clumsy and uncoordinated out there, bouncing an easy rebound off his legs out of bounds. It will be a while before he can really contribute to the team. Frank Tchuisi from Cameroon showed some athleticism tonight with a 2-handed dunk and a high-flying swat for a block, although it was called a goaltend.
The Wildcats next game is Thursday in the Big East/Sec Invitational at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia. There is a double header with the first game being South Carolina vs. Providence and Villanova is playing in the second game vs. LSU at 9:30. LSU is in a down year, as they've lost most of their players from the Final Four team two years ago to graduation and the NBA, such as former lottery pick Tyrus Thomas, now playing for the Bulls, and Glen "Big Baby" Davis, who is a rookie on the Celtics. LSU is also missing a key player to injury, so it should be a fairly easy win for the Wildcats if they play "Villanova basketball".