Player of the Game: Dante Cunningham: 19 pts, 12 reb, 3 blk
Recap: I was a little worried about how Villanova would respond to their first quality opponent of the season, but they were up to the challenge. Nova handled Rhode Island with ease. It wasn't a blowout, but Nova was in control for most of the game.
Both Dante Cunningham and Reggie Redding had to change jerseys after getting blood stains. Dante wore #44 and Reggie wore #31. Redding looked like a warrior out there, wearing a bandage over his forehead. The jersey change didn't bother either player. Both had double-doubles, which is consistent for Cunningham (19-12), but a bit of a surprise coming from Redding (11-12). Reggie was especially effective on the offensive boards where he grabbed 7 0f his 12 rebounds. Redding has done an excellent job filling the void of Dwayne Anderson so far this season.
Corey Fisher was outstanding in the first half, where he scored all of his 14 points. He was toying with defenders on his drives to the basket, finishing and1's.
Rhode Island's Jimmy Barron put on a show in the first half, scoring 16 points off of some deep jumpshots. Nova did a great job shutting him down in the second half, holding him to only 7 points. Corey Stokes, Nova's sharp shooter, was a little gun shy tonight. He had 3 points on 1-5 shooting and only attempted 2 threes, missing both. After missing a couple of shots tonight, he may have been hesitant to shoot after his poor performance last game.
Stokes' off-night didn't matter because of Nova's balance. They had five players in double figures for the third time this season. Dante had 19, Fisher had 14, Scottie had 13, Redding had 11, and Pena had 10. Shane Clark also chipped in 8 points off the bench. The balanced scoring has been a constant theme this season, and I'm loving it.