EditorsNote: Corrects Eric Paschall’s point total, updates first-half points total in 10th graph, updates time in 12th graph
Phil Booth scored a career-high 23 points to lift No. 9 Villanova past visiting Quinnipiac 86-53 Saturday night in Philadelphia.
Collin Gillespie also added a career-high 16 and Eric Paschall had 11 points and eight rebounds for the defending national champion Wildcats, who improved to 2-0.
Cameron Young led Quinnipiac with 18 points in its season opener. Other than Travis Atson with 11 points, no other Quinnipiac player reached double figures in scoring.
The game was a homecoming for Bobcats head coach Baker Dunleavy, who played at Villanova from 2002-06 and was on head coach Jay Wright’s staff from 2011-17.
Just six seconds into the game, a shot clock delay lasted about 10 minutes, but it didn’t deter Villanova.
The Wildcats still jumped out to an 18-3 lead that extended to 26-5 on consecutive 3-pointers by Gillespie.
Villanova’s suffocating defense limited Quinnipiac to 7-for-26 shooting and Saddiq Bey hit a baseline trey at the buzzer for a 47-20 halftime lead.
Booth led all halftime scorers with 15 points while Young was the lone bright spot for the Bobcats with 10 points.
Villanova stayed aggressive and Booth and Joe Cremo each hit a trey to open the second half for a commanding 53-20 lead with 18:58 remaining.
Paschall, who scored 26 points in Villanova’s season-opening 100-77 win over Morgan State, picked up two early fouls and played only six minutes in the first half. Paschall’s first basket gave the Wildcats a 57-22 lead.
On Villanova’s next possession, Paschall drove to the basket and threw down a two-handed dunk and was fouled for the conventional three-point play and a 60-25 advantage.
Gillespie knocked down his fourth triple of the game and Villanova led 74-37 with 9:27 left.
Villanova had four freshmen on the court at times but had no issues in rolling to its second consecutive win to open the season. A late 3-pointer by Cremo was the 12th of the game for the Wildcats.
—Field Level Media