Nova dominates Penn, 87-61

Villanova 87, Penn 61
December 1, 2007 8:18:16 PM PST
The Villanova Wildcats, knocked out of the top 25 after a loss six days ago, took out their frustrations in a big way. Scottie Reynolds scored 21 points and Corey Fisher added 13 as Villanova cruised past Penn 87-61 on Saturday night. Antonio Pena contributed 12 and Dante Cunningham had 10 for the Wildcats (5-1), who handily defeated the Quakers for the fifth straight time.

Villanova won its first four games and was ranked 19th before the last-second one-point loss to North Carolina State on Nov. 25 in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla.

"Maybe I overdid it (in practice) during the week, but maybe thats why they came out like this," Villanova coach Jay Wright said.

Villanova jumped out to a 33-6 lead with 11:13 remaining in the first half. The lead grew to as many as 31 when Fisher hit a 3-pointer for a 53-22 advantage with 25 seconds left in the half.

Villanova hit 17 of its first 22 shots from the field and wound up hitting 60 percent (18-of-30) compared to just 26 percent (6-of-23) for Penn. The Quakers committed 20 first-half turnovers against Villanova's swarming defensive pressure.

"Everyone tonight who came in did a great job bringing energy off the bench," Reynolds said.

Penn's Tyler Bernardini hit three consecutive 3-pointers in the first three minutes of the second half, cutting the Villanova advantage to 53-31. But the Quakers never threatened after that point and got no closer than a 20-point deficit for the rest of the game.

"I think, to some degree, we were intimidated to start the game," Penn coach Glen Miller said. "You just cant dig a hole like that."

Villanova also won its 12th consecutive game against Big Five opponents, which includes games against Saint Joseph's, Temple and La Salle. The 12 straight Big Five wins tied a record originally set by Penn from Jan. 19, 1972 to Jan. 18, 1975.

"As I kid, I remember those (Penn) teams," Wright said. "Its an honor to be mentioned with those teams."

Bernardini scored 16 of his 21 points in the second half for Penn (2-6) while Justin Reilly added 12 and Harrison Gaines had 10. Brian Grandieri, Penn's leading scorer at 14.9 points per game, was held to just six on 1-of-7 shooting.

"We just didnt come ready to play," Gaines said.

Load Comments