Instant Replay: No. 16 Villanova 77, Penn 57


Instant Replay: No. 16 Villanova 77, Penn 57


VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Another night, another easy Big 5 win for Villanova.

On Monday night at the Pavilion, the No. 16 Wildcats jumped out to a monster 30-3 lead before cruising home with a 77-57 rout of Penn.

The win was the 13th straight in the Big 5 for Villanova (10-2, 3-0 Big 5) -- one shy of a record held by the Wildcats teams from 2004-05 to 2007-08.

It was also the Wildcats’ 13th straight win over Penn, with all but two by a double-digit margin.

The Quakers (5-7, 1-2 Big 5) have lost six of their last seven and haven’t beaten a Division I opponent since before Thanksgiving when they toppled La Salle, 80-64.

Big men on campus
Freshman Jalen Brunson led four Wildcats in double figures with a career-high 22 points and five assists, scoring 20 in the second half. Ryan Arcidiacono had 13 points and six rebounds, and Josh Hart and Daniel Ochefu added 12 apiece with Ochefu scoring nine in the first three minutes to help set the tone.

Penn freshman Jackson Donahue, making his first collegiate start, scored all of his career-high 18 points in the second half before fouling out with 1:51 left. Matt Howard added 11 for the Quakers.

By the numbers
· Both teams struggled from three-point range with Penn shooting 7 for 32 (22 percent) and Villanova shooting 1 for 11 (9.0 percent).

· Penn shot 1 for 16 from behind the arc and 5 for 29 from the field in the first half.

· Villanova outrebounded Penn, 44-32.

· Villanova shot 26 for 41 from the foul line and missed six straight at one point in the first half.

First half
Villanova absolutely dominated from the start, scoring the first 14 points before Penn made a basket and then scoring the next 16 to take its whopping 30-3 lead with 5:54 left.

At that point, the Quakers were shooting just eight percent from the field to go along with seven turnovers. They ended up making five shots over the final six minutes of the first half but Villanova still took a commanding 39-11 advantage into the break.

The first-half stats painted a pretty clear picture as Villanova outshot the Quakers 52 percent to 17 percent and outrebounded them, 26 to 16.

Injury issues
Despite being questionable with a sprained knee he suffered in Villanova’s last game, Kris Jenkins played and finished with two points in 19 minutes.

Antonio Woods, the Quakers’ third-leading scorer and their most reliable guard, went to the locker room late in the first half after Mikal Bridges stripped him in the backcourt and finished with a dunk. He did not return.

Brunson honored
Before the game, Brunson was honored for being named the 2015 USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year.

Up next
Villanova opens Big East play with a home showdown vs. No. 6 Xavier on Thursday.

Penn hosts Binghamton on Saturday.

No. 14 Penn State's defense dominates Rutgers

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No. 14 Penn State's defense dominates Rutgers

PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- Trace McSorley threw two touchdown passes to tight end Pat Freiermuth and No. 14 Penn State's defense set up two touchdowns with turnovers in a 20-7 victory over Rutgers on Saturday, sending the Scarlet Knights to their 10th straight loss.

McSorley's touchdown passes covered 6 yards in the second quarter and 18 in the fourth as the Nittany Lions (8-3, 5-3 Big Ten, No. 14 CFP) beat Rutgers (1-10, 0-7) for the 12th straight time. Jake Pinegar added field goals of 22 and 19 yards.

The win was No. 30 for McSorley as a starter, making him the winningest quarterback in school history. The senior had been tied with Todd Blackledge (1980-82) and Tony Sacca (1988-91). The two touchdowns increased his total - running and passing - to 101.

Raheem Blacksheer scored on a 2-yard fourth-quarter run for Rutgers to deny Penn State its first shutout in more than a season.

The dominant group for Penn State was its defense, which forced three turnovers, had four sacks and 11 tackles for losses and held Rutgers to 46 yards passing.

Safety Garrett Taylor intercepted a horrible pass by freshman Art Sitkowski late in the second quarter to give the Nittany Lions the ball at the Rutgers 28. Four plays later, McSorley (17 of 37 for 183 yards) found Freiermuth for a 10-3 lead with 2:04 left in the half.

Senior Gio Rescigno replaced Sitkowski (3 of 7 for 18 yards and two interceptions) after the bad decision on the screen pass Penn State read from the start.

A Daniel Joseph recovery of an Isaih Pacheco fumble at the Rutgers 46 late in the third quarter set up the second TD pass early in the fourth for a 20-0 lead.

The Scarlet Knights should have scored in the third quarter. After moving 82 yards on 14 running plays, they ran a fourth-down flea flicker from the 2-yard line and a wide-open Rescigno dropped a soft pass from Trey Sneed, who had lined up outside and took a toss from Blackshear.

The takeaway

This was not an impressive performance by the Nittany Lions, who were hoping to move into a position for a possible New Year's Day bowl game. The offense never got going and the only reason it was no contest was the Penn State defense.

The Scarlet Knights are now facing the prospect of their first one-win season since going 1-11 in Greg Schiano's second season, in 2002. Rutgers was 0-11 in 1997, so this isn't rock bottom. The 10-game losing streak is the longest since losing 11 in a row over the end of the 1998-99 season.

Up next

Penn State: Plays host to Maryland next Saturday and then waits for a bowl bid.

Rutgers: Finishes season at Michigan State next Saturday.

Villanova routed by Michigan in national championship rematch

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Villanova routed by Michigan in national championship rematch

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Charles Matthews set the tone with a slam and celebrated by flexing to the crowd.

Quickly, the rematch turned into a rout.

Matthews scored 19 points, Ignas Brazdeikis had 18 and No. 18 Michigan beat No. 8 Villanova 73-46 Wednesday night in their first meeting since last season's national championship game.

Villanova captured its second title in three years with a 79-62 victory over Michigan in April but was completely overmatched in the second game at its newly renovated Pavilion.

"I don't think when I'm out there," Matthews said, explaining his emotional reaction to a basket less than 90 seconds into the game. "It was a fun, exciting game. I got the dunk and I screamed."

Eric Paschall scored 10 points and Phil Booth had nine for the Wildcats (2-1).

The Wolverines (3-0) jumped ahead early and never let up. They led 10-2 less than five minutes in and expanded the lead to 22-8 on Matthews' jumper midway through the opening half. A 17-3 run followed, giving Michigan a 39-13 lead. Matthews' dunk and consecutive 3-pointers from Isaiah Livers and Jordan Poole highlighted the run.

Matthews capped the impressive first half with a steal and layup to send Michigan to the locker room with a 44-17 lead.

"I'm very impressed with Michigan," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "Really like their team, great togetherness, great execution. It's my fault I'm running a lot of guys out there. We're not as organized as we want to be. We're trying to figure out a lineup early in the season. We didn't have the cohesiveness to play a good team like that."

Villanova's frustration was evident after Michigan's Zavier Simpson's flagrant foul led to a brief scuffle with Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree near midcourt with 13 minutes remaining and Michigan leading 52-24.

The Wildcats couldn't make any push in the second half, and fans hit the road early.

"They executed way better than we were prepared to play defense," Booth said.

Neither team looked like the two squads who met in San Antonio seven months ago.

Villanova lost four players who were drafted in the first 33 picks of the NBA draft. AP Player of the Year Jalen Brunson plays for the Dallas Mavericks. Omari Spellman is with the Atlanta Hawks. Mikal Bridges landed in Phoenix after a draft-night trade with the 76ers, and Donte DiVincenzo — who scored 31 points in the title game — is with the Milwaukee Bucks.

Michigan lost three of its top four scorers. Moe Wagner, the star big man, was drafted by the Lakers in the first round and is playing in Germany. Duncan Robinson and Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman graduated.

"They're a young team and they lost a lot of people," Michigan coach John Beilein said. "This is a November win. That's all it is. We have to learn from it, forget it and get ready for our next game."

Impressive freshman
Brazdeikis' teammates love his attitude and confidence on the floor.

"Iggy is like a mean pit bull," Simpson said.

The Finn
Bill Finneran, the Villanova alum who was the lead donor for the school's on-campus court that underwent a $65 million face-lift, was honored at halftime.

"The worst game you're going to see here," Finneran told the crowd.

Big picture
Michigan: Brazdeikis showed he can score against tough competition, performing well against top defender Paschall. Brazdeikis and Matthews give the Wolverines a formidable wing duo going forward.

Villanova: Showed its youth, giving Wright plenty of teaching points. The Wildcats relied on 3s the first two games, taking more shot attempts from beyond the arc than inside. They couldn't get them to fall from long range, going 3 for 15.

Up next
Michigan hosts George Washington on Saturday.

Villanova hosts Furman on Saturday.