By Matt Leon
VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — The Villanova Wildcats put together one of their best all-around efforts of the season on Wednesday night, beating Seton Hall (now 15-4) at the Pavilion, 84-76.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright says it was a true “team” win.
“I thought, defensively, they have two great seniors. Defensively, our juniors did a great job — Maalik Wayns on (guard Jordan) Theodore, and Mouphtaou Yarou on (forward Herb) Pope. Pope’s the leading scorer in the Big East and (we) held him to ten points. So I think it started with our defense, and then JayVaughn Pinkston gave us a great night on the boards and scoring.”
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Pinkston finished with 23 points and 11 rebounds in the victory, which improved the Wildcats to 9-10 overall and 2-5 in the Big East. Wright says he thinks his team is starting to get comfortable.
“A lot of these guys, a lot of them, are playing together for the first time and they are just starting to get a feel for each other,” he tells KYW Newsradio. “Basketball’s a team sport — you’ve got to function as a unit — and I really think they are starting to feel comfortable with each other on both ends of the floor.”
Next up for the Wildcats is a visit to Madison Square Garden on Saturday and a game with St. John’s University. The Red Storm sits at 8-10 overall (2-4 in the Big East), and Wright breaks down what they bring to the table:
“They might be younger than us. (Freshman guard/forward Moe) Harkless is an incredible talent, and they got a lot of depth and young guys. But they have length and athleticism. Their matchup zone gives you a lot of trouble, and when they turn you over in that zone they are off and running. And because of their length and athleticism they finish quickly on the other end.”
The 6’8″ Harkless leads the Red Storm in scoring (15.8), rebounding (8.4), and blocks (31).
Villanova and St. John’s tip off at 1:00pm on Saturday afternoon.