‘Nova remains undefeated against College of Charleston



David Jarman

The Wildcats returned home for the first time after winning the Gildan Charleston Classic and defeated the host team of the tournament, the College of Charleston, 63-47. The Wildcats were playing their sixth game in 13 days and seemed to show a bit of fatigue in tonight’s game. While Villanova didn’t have the best of offensive performances, they grinded it out against a tough opponent. Coach Jay Wright knew that Wednesday night’s game wasn’t going to be a walk in the park.

“You have to give College of Charleston credit,” Coach Wright said about tonight’s opponent. “They play a controlled tempo, they’ve got tough guards, they defend well. They weren’t a team we could put away.”

Pre-Season All American Josh Hart lead the Wildcats with 13 points and 11 rebounds. There were times when Coach Wright felt Hart could score more than 13 points, but he decided to pass instead of shoot. Along with his 11 boards, Wright admits that Hart’s play tonight showed the senior leadership on this year’s team.

Kris Jenkins added to the offensive production tonight with 11 points, and the team also got key contributions off the bench. Donte DiVincenzo and Eric Pashcal combined for 15 points and continue to become valuable assets in Jay Wright’s rotation. This is especially true of Pashcal, who is versatile in playing multiple positions and guarding guys who are significantly taller than him, such as Purdue’s 7’2 Isaac Haas and UCF’s 7’6 Taco Fall. 

“I have to be prepared at this level to guard anybody, [positions] one through five,” Paschal said about the responsibility to guard different players at different positions. “Especially in the defense we play. I have to get the mindset to defend anybody—doesn’t matter how big or small they are. I have to get ready for that.”

Charleston put up a fight, taking the first lead of the game in the opening minutes of tonight’s contest. Additionally, they held Point Guard Jalen Brunson to no points in the first half.  While these were some of the standout moments for Charleston, Villanova would eventually go on a few scoring runs and never look back. Villanova played solidly on both sides of the court. Offensively they shot 43.8%, including 50% in the first half. Defensively, they frustrated Charleston with their multiple defenses. In addition to Wirght’s full-court 1-2-2 press, the Wildcats switched between zone and man-man defenses in their half-court sets. 

The Wildcats will have a few days off to get some rest and get energized for the start of Big 5 play with games against Penn at the Palestra next Tuesday and the Annual Holy War against Saint Joe’s next Saturday. 

“It’s always exciting,” Wright said about the start of Big 5 play. “Eric [Paschal] doesn’t know about that, Dante [DiVincenzo] doesn’t know about that, to educate them about the intensity of it. We have to play harder, and a lot more intense than the games we have played.”

With any Villanova Basketball game, you can always expect the intensity to increase. That’s Villanova basketball: tough, intense, and physical play on both ends of the floor, starting with the defense.