Instant Replay: No. 4 Villanova 88, Lafayette 48


Updated: 11:05 p.m.


VILLANOVA, Pa. — This one was over before you could say Ryan Arcidiacono. 

The Villanova Wildcats on Friday opened the defense of their national championship — but don't tell them that — with an 88-48 shellacking of Lafayette. 

The fourth-ranked Wildcats led 7-2 after a sweet spin and layup by Josh Hart.

They led 19-2 after a dunk by big man Eric Paschall, the first bucket by the transfer from Fordham. Paschall followed it up moments later with a nice block.

They led 23-2 after Hart soared for an interception and fed Kris Jenkins for a (of course) three.

They led 38-13 after Hart slammed it home so hard the refs called a technical foul ... for what wasn't immediately clear. (See update below.)

They led 41-17 at halftime after shooting 55.6 percent from the field and holding Lafayette to 21.9 percent shooting. The Leopards had almost as many airballs in the half (at least four) as field goals (seven).

How bad did it get for the Leopards? The Villanova student section began the "Good-bye" chant with just over 14 minutes left and the Wildcats up 64-28.

Hart's T
After the game head coach Jay Wright explained why Hart was T'ed up.


"It's a new rule this year. They're really emphasizing sportsmanship," Wright said. "What he did was, he came down, stopped and looked at a guy in the face. That counts as a stare. This year, that's a point of emphasis.

"You can't stop and stare at somebody. They told us. You've gotta just walk away. It really wasn't a bad one, but it was good to get it in this game, learn a lesson."

Villanova basketball
With the Wildcats up, 69-30, Mikal Bridges, among others, dove on the floor for a loose ball around midcourt.

Jalen Brunson scored a game-high 17 points on 6 of 9 shooting, including 4 of 7 from three. He also had seven rebounds and two assists.

Jenkins scored 16 points on 6 of 14 shooting, including 4 of 10 from three. 

Bridges had 16 on 6 for 9 shooting to go with a game-high eight rebounds.

Hart finished with 13 points, four rebounds and three assists.

Paschall's debut
Paschall finished with seven points, seven rebounds, two steals and a block. He was 1 for 3 from three.

Inside the box score
Villanova had almost as many threes (15) as Lafayette had field goals (19).

Villanova now has won 14 straight season openers and has won 15 of 16 under Jay Wright.

The Wildcats increased their winning streak at the Pavilion to 40, the last loss coming against Providence in 2013.

What's next
The Wildcats are at Purdue on Monday at 7 p.m. (Big Ten Network/610 AM) in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.