Sunday, January 29, 2023

No. 4 Villanova beats Mount St. Mary in the opener, 91-51

Villanova, Pa. (NWN) – Jay Wright pulled a stat sheet toward Colin Gillespie and whispered at No. 4 Villanova’s star guard, pointing out some garish numbers.

Gillespie and Justin Moore made 12 assists and no turnover in their 91-51 opening win at Mount St. Mary’s on Tuesday.

It’s the kind of numbers that will give a Hall of Fame coach a few more wins, and the kind of numbers the Wildcats need to beat No. 2 UCLA on Friday.

Gillespie scored 13 points in his first game since suffering a torn MCL in his left knee. Moore hit six 3-pointers and scored a career-high 27 points for Big East favorite Wildcats. Brandon Slater and Jermaine Samuels added 17 each.

Villanova needed a tune-up this weekend at a stacked non-conference event involving the Bruins. They will play for only the sixth time since 2010 and for the first time.

Wright said, ‘I think we are ready to play with a team like this. “They’re a great team. That doesn’t mean we’re ready to beat them. But I think it’s a good time for us. This old group, they’ve been beating each other for a while in the off-season. are doing. “

Gillespie, who played on the 2018 national championship team but was injured in the senior knight last season, decided to return for the fifth season, thanks to a rule that gives players an additional year of eligibility. Is. He was cleared to workout in August and made the NWN President’s All-America Team.

He hit an early 3-pointer on Tuesday and got the game’s loudest ovation from a raucous student class back this year and switched arms and swayed during pregame introductions.

“Today was another day to play with my teammates,” he said.

And there was just one more Villanova beating in the opener. The Wildcats, According to Joe FanDuel Sportsbook Closed as the favorites on 25.5 points, opened the game on 10–0 and were never threatened. He made 16 3 hits against only six turnovers.

Mount made the first four of the NCAA Tournament last season on the strength of a defense that allowed just 62.2 points per game. The Wildcats hit that mark with 11:50 in the game, as Moore got 3 for a 62-35 lead.

“We weren’t specifically looking for me,” Moore said of his big game. “We were just trying to play together and set the tone defensively and that helped us with our offense.”

big number

Wright won his 613th career game—and first as a Hall of Famer. Wright helped lead Team USA to an Olympic gold medal as an assistant under coach Greg Popovich, then the 59-year-old Wright was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. Not a bad summer vacation.

Route st. Mary’s

Malik Jefferson led the Mountaineers, finishing third with 13 points in the Northeast Conference Precision Poll. The climbers missed nine of the 12 3-pointers and attempted only eight free throws.

“They paid us today,” said coach Dan Engelstadt. “I think the lights, the crowd, we didn’t settle in for a while. It took us a few minutes. But once we were in, I felt some really bright spots, some good moments. You can see What we already know is that we have a very good basketball team that can play at a high level.”

on the roof

Villanova has played in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Classic against No. 18 Tennessee in late November, and then has a game against No. 19 North Carolina or No. 7 Purdue in the same tournament. Villanova also plays Syracuse at the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden in December and then has a rematch at No. 8 Boiler on December 12.

big picture

Mount St. Mary’s: Its career points drop to 1-33 against ranked teams. Engelstad is 0–3 against ranked teams.

Villanova: The Wildcats went 20-1 under Wright in the season openers and won the last 19.


Mount: Host Washington College (Maryland) on Thursday and return to Philadelphia on Saturday for a game at St.

Wildcats: Play at No. 2 UCLA on Friday nights.


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