Villanova will likely be trying to find its ninth consecutive victory when it faces UConn on Thursday in Storrs, Conn.
The third-ranked Wildcats improved to 10-1 total and 5-Zero within the Massive East with a 71-56 win over Windfall on Saturday. Villanova the one Massive East workforce with out a convention loss.
Make no mistake: The victory over the Friars was removed from straightforward. Villanova led by solely three factors with 13 minutes remaining.
“We had been taking part in off our protection,” Villanova coach Jay Wright stated. “We had been getting confidence from getting stops defensively. We saved grinding.”
That particularly applies to Jermaine Samuels, the reigning Massive East Participant of the Week.
Samuels had 10 factors and 10 rebounds in opposition to Windfall after amassing 20 factors and 9 rebounds in a 76-74 victory over Seton Corridor on Jan. 19.
Samuels and his teammates are placing within the exhausting work on protection, which is the place the Wildcats are thriving.
“I feel Jeremiah Robinson-Earl is without doubt one of the finest defensive gamers within the nation,” Wright stated. “He can guard any place and it helps all people else. Justin Moore is identical form of man, consider it or not. Our different groups might try this, however not in addition to this workforce. Different groups had been higher offensively.
“We’re not there offensively but, however we now have an opportunity to be one in every of our greatest defensive groups.”
Moore and Collin Gillespie every scored 15 factors in opposition to the Friars whereas Caleb Daniels had 12 factors to go along with Samuels’ 10.
“I used to be getting within the lane, attempting to make performs,” Moore stated. “We had been being aggressive. I used to be taking my shot when it is there, discovering my teammates. After all, my teammates had been there to encourage me and hold it going.”
Connecticut (8-3, 5-3) is coming off a hard-fought 63-51 victory over visiting Butler on Tuesday.
Tyrese Martin led the Huskies with 20 factors, R.J. Cole added 11 and Isaiah Whaley performed a stable all-around sport with six factors, 5 rebounds and 7 blocked photographs.
Connecticut shot 50 p.c (24 of 48) from the ground, together with 7 of 14 from past the arc.
Main as much as the sport, Huskies coach Dan Hurley had been very important of his workforce’s shot choice and offense as a complete.
Clutch capturing is required for the reason that Huskies are short-handed with key gamers injured similar to James Bouknight (elbow), Andre Jackson (wrist) and Akok Akok (shin).
“It is exhausting to simulate, within the stretch of video games we now discover ourselves in from not taking part in very steadily to a bunch of video games on prime of one another, right down to 9 guys for observe,” Hurley stated.
One of many 9 guys who should proceed to carry out at a excessive degree is Cole.
“The best way he is simply driving the workforce, possession in and possession out, has acquired to be at the next degree,” Hurley stated. “The management factor on him is what it is about. Clearly, he is acquired to do a greater job on ending twos and making free throws on the finish of video games, however it’s simply management and intangibles, I feel.”
–Subject Stage Media