Player of the Game: Corey Fisher: 15 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl
Recap: The Purple Eagles were definitely the toughest opponent Villanova has faced so far this season, but the game was still a little too close for comfort. Nova was only up six at halftime and the lead was cut to two in the second half. Eventually Villanova was able to outlast Niagara and pull away late in the game.
There were fouls, fouls, and more fouls. SIX players fouled out, including three Wildcats: Antonio Pena, Dante Cunningham, and Shane Clark. Those three were in foul trouble all of the second half, forcing Nova to play a four-guard lineup. This wasn't too bad because Niagara also played a four-guard lineup. However, Villanova's big men cannot afford to give up so many fouls, especially against an undersized team like Niagara. The foul trouble is an issue that needs to be addressed immediately if Villanova expects to contend in the Big East.
All Aboard the Redding Railroad
Corey Stokes sat to start the game with a sprained left thumb, and Reggie Redding stepped up in a big way. He always brings the defense, but last night he delivered on offense as well. He had 14 points, 3 assists, and knocked down two 3-pointers.
Balance the Force
Once again the scoring was balanced with four starters in double figures (Reynolds-19, Fisher-15, Redding-14, Cunningham-11). Pena had 8 points and 7 rebounds in basically half of a game and easily could have had a double double if his time wasn't limited by fouls. Stokes also had 8 points and surely would have had more if it wasn't for the sore thumb. Scottie Reynolds led the team with a season-high 19 points (4-14 FG, 9-10 FT), but he had 2 assists to 5 turnovers, a step backwards in that department after a strong first two games.
Return of the Prodigal Benn
Bilal Benn had a solid game (11 points, 8 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals) in his return to Villanova. Best of luck to him for the rest of the season.