Villanova PA: It is always a big deal in the City of Philadelphia when the City 6 college basketball teams play each other and the games are always exciting with lots of drama. On Sunday night, the Villanova Wildcats took on LaSalle Explorers from the Finneran Pavilion on the campus of Villanova University.
Villanova took down LaSalle 83-72 and below are some thoughts on the game.
Big 5 Battle:
Whenever you get a Big 5 game, there is a lot on the line, including city bragging rights and the rich history that comes with it. The Big 5 is made of (Temple, Villanova, Penn, LaSalle & Saint Josephs).
Ashley Howard vs Jay Wright:
This was the second all-time meeting between Jay Wright and Ashley Howard. Howard was an assistant under Jay Wright for both of Villanova Championship wins in 2016 & 2018. Both Jay Wright & Ashley Howard said after the game that they hate it when they play against former colleagues and these games are very emotional and personal.
Bryan Antoine home debut:
Tonight marked the home debut of Villanova Bryan Antoine. Below is the
Reaction as he came into the game with 10:44 left in the first half
Antoine would score his first home points on a layup with 9:34 left in the first half, Antoine would finish with 2 points in 12:23 of game time.
How would both teams respond from playing in In-season tournaments:
LaSalle would win the Gulf Coast Showcase while Villanova would fall in the title game of the Myrtle Beach Invitational. Both coaches said that their teams did well from playing in the tournaments and going back into the grind of their season.
How the game went:
In the first half, LaSalle came out throwing big shots for a 5-0 lead and the Explorers at a lead of 6 at 13-7 with 14:19 left. The Wildcats took their first lead of the game at 17-14 on 3 pointer from Cole Swider with 12:05 left & from there the Wildcats would make things difficult for the Explorers as Villanova took a 48-28 lead at halftime.
Early in the second half, LaSalle went on a 10-0 run to cut into the Wildcats leat at 50-40 with 13:05 left as they made the Wildcats take costly mistakes and turnovers. After taking the initial hit from LaSalle, Villanova would answer with some big shots of their own getting the lead up to 16 on two septate times with the last one being 67-51 with 6:29 left.
What is next:
Villanova will now get ready for another Big 5 battle when they take on Penn on December 4 at Villanova while LaSalle prepares for an encounter with City Rival Drexel on December 7 at Drexel.
Reaction from Villanova Coach Jay Wright & LaSalle Coach Ashley Howard
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports