Friday, March 6, 2015

Nova loses second straight to Senegal

Villanova loses to Senegal for the second straight night on its European tour in a physical contest.

Nova loses second straight to Senegal

Apparently, Senegal's senior national team plays the type of physical basketball that would make that country feel right at home in the Big East.

For the second straight night on its European tour, Villanova found itself engaged in a rugged game against a taller, more seasoned opponent, and the Wildcats dipped to 0-2 with a 79-65 loss in Cergy, France.

A report from Villanova sports information described the game as featuring "intensely physical play with many whistles." Jay Wright had a more vivid description, saying the game was "like being in a street fight in someone else's neighborhood."

"That was as unique as an experience as you can have in this game," the Wildcats' coach said. "It presented a great challenge for us that I thought our players handled well."

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Maalik Wayns led Villanova with 15 points but shot just 6 of 19 from the field. Mouphtaou Yarou sat for much of the first half after picking up two early fouls and managed just nine points with 11 rebounds.

"Having Mouph in early foul trouble certainly didn't help us," Wright said. "It forced us to play a lot of the young guys and we had some mistakes at key points. I thought on the whole, though, the young guys did a good job."

Among the freshmen, Darrun Hilliard hit three three-point baskets and scored nine points, while JayVaughn Pinkston scored seven points in the second half. Markus Kennedy grabbed seven rebounds, helping the Wildcats to a 52-48 edge on the boards.

Wayns matched Hilliard with three treys. On the night, the Wildcats made eight baskets from deep.

"It was a great learning experience," Wright said. "That's a very seasoned international team that knows how it has to play to be effective. There's a lot we can learn from this."

After a day off Thursday, the Wildcats return to action Friday in Amsterdam.

--Joe Juliano

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
About this blog
Joe Juliano first visited the Palestra in 1970 after entering Temple University and became hooked for life on Big Five basketball. He'll always go with that name, figuring if the Big Ten can have 12 teams, why can't the Big Five have six?

Juliano joined the Inquirer in 1985 after 10 years at United Press International and has covered college sports for most of that time. His current beats are Villanova basketball, Penn State football, golf and the Penn Relays. Reach Joe at jjuliano@phillynews.com.

Joe Juliano Inquirer Staff Writer
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