With six players averaging double-digit points, Villanova looks like it will once again be a handful for opponents this season. The sixth-ranked Wildcats host Lafayette on Friday seeking to mimic their offensive effort from Tuesday’s resounding win.
The Wildcats pasted Nicholls 113-77 on Tuesday behind a dynamic offensive performance led by Mikal Bridges (career-high 23 points on 7-of-11 shooting). Bridges is averaging 15.5 points, joining five other teammates in double-figure scoring on the year - a group that is led by Donte DiVincenzo (16.5). Jalen Brunson, the Big East’s preseason player of the year, sits at 15.5 points and was 7-of-9 from the field against Nicholls. The Wildcats’ scoring depth could mean bad news for Lafayette, which lost to NJIT by 16 its last time out.
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ABOUT LAFAYETTE (0-2): The Leopards shot well against NJIT, connecting on 51.9 percent from the field and 10-of-20 from the arc in a 96-80 defeat. Alex Petrie recorded 19 points off the bench and Matt Klinewski had 15, giving him a team-high 33 points through two games. Klinewski is 7-of-8 from long distance this season and, as a team, Lafayette is connecting on 41.2 percent of its 3-point attempts.
ABOUT VILLANOVA (2-0): “I can’t imagine many teams in the country being better than them,” Nicholls coach Richie Riley told reporters after his team absorbed the humbling defeat at the hands of Villanova. “I think they have a chance to hang another banner. I think they’re that good.” The Wildcats dominated the boards against the Colonels, 49-32, and had 28 assists on 42 buckets. Bridges and Omari Spellman each recorded four blocks and Spellman, a hyped freshman who sat out last season, knocked down his first career 3-pointer.
1. Villanova outrebounded Lafayette 53-33 in last year’s meeting - a 40-point home win for the Wildcats.
2. Bridges has seven of the Wildcats’ 12 steals this season.
3. Villanova blocked a school-record 13 shots against Nicholls.
PREDICTION: Villanova 89, Lafayette 55