AROUND THE CITY
Typically, Hagan Arena attracts a late-arriving crowd because parking is an issue. Parking was not a problem Saturday night, but fans were standing in every open space as Villanova played on the Saint Joseph's campus for the first time. They were waiting outside hours before the game. They were about as loud as a crowd can possibly be once they got inside.
FAVORITE WINS AGAIN
As great as this rivalry has been over the years, it has been a long time since the favorite did not win. The Hawks were a slight favorite and won like a strong favorite, taking control on the floor early and on the scoreboard in the second half for a convincing 74-58 win.
St. Joe's had six dunks in the second half, by four players. A week after Ronald Roberts' crazy dunk earned No. 4 on ESPN's Play of the Day list, C.J. Aiken got No. 3 with three freakish dunks.
But you could make a case that Roberts' two second-half throwdowns easily could have been No. 1 this week.
This still does not look right. St. Joe's and dunks? And the Hawks also have serious guards. And no seniors.
NUMBERS TO CONSIDER
St. Joe's (8-3, 1-0 Big 5) shot 58.1 percent in the second half while holding the Wildcats to 30.3 percent. The Hawks had no blocks in the first half and seven in the second, two on the half's first possession to set the tone.
When Aiken took a 40-foot lob pass from Langston Galloway that looked headed for the shot clock and threw it down, you sort of knew it was not going to be 'Nova's night, even with more than 31 minutes left in the game.
The Wildcats were overplaying the wings with some success in the first half. On two of the first three plays of the second half, Galloway and then Daryus Quarles flew down the baseline for easy backdoor baskets.
"Some of the finishes to those plays, they're worth more than two points," St. Joe's coach Phil Martelli said.
Galloway scored 20 points on 13 shots. He was 8-for-13 overall and 3-for-3 from the arc.
'Nova coach Jay Wright mentioned how the Hawks played really smart with the lead. The Hawks guards, Galloway, Carl Jones and Chris Wilson, combined for 16 assists and three turnovers.
END OF RUN
Villanova (6-5, 2-2) had not lost two City Series game since Randy Foye was a freshman in 2002-03. In the last eight seasons, the Wildcats were an amazing 28-4 in Big 5 games, the most dominant stretch over that long of a period in Big 5 history.
'Nova big man Mouph Yarou sprained an ankle in Friday night's practice at St. Joe's. He barely played in the second half and had just two points.
Jones sprained an ankle at Thursday's St. Joe's practice but it did not seem to affect his play much. He had 15 points, four assists, three rebounds and three steals.
Maalik Wayns made some incredible moves to get his 19 points, but no other Wildcat hit double figures.
WHAT UP WITH OWLS?
Temple had the older, more experienced team at Texas. The Longhorns are talented, but have freshmen in key spots.
The Owls (6-3) appeared in control of the game in the first half, but kept Texas in the game by making just enough un-Temple-like plays. UT tossed up one no-hope long shot after another (2-for-17 from the arc in the game), but the Owls could not take advantage. In the second half, Texas (9-2) just took the ball to the basket, got every rebound (48-23 for the game) and pulled away to win, 77-65.
NOT BIG ENOUGH
Owls coach Fran Dunphy really does not have a choice but to play small without injured center Micheal Eric and injured big guard Scootie Randall.
To win, this team needs to be very efficient on offense because the defense is not going to be up to recent standards. The Owls shot just 10-for-20 from the free-throw line and simply did not look like the Temple teams we have been accustomed to seeing under Dunphy.
Khalif Wyatt had 24 points. Juan Fernandez did not shoot well (2-8), going out late with some kind of knee injury.
The Longhorns eventually overwhelmed the Owls with athleticism. Freshman Jaylen Bond (Plymouth-Whitemarsh) had 12 points and eight rebounds on 6-for-7 shooting as Texas totally controlled the lane.
STARTING TO WIN
Now that Drexel has all its players healthy, the Dragons (5-4) are winning like everybody expected. They gave up a big second-half lead, but had enough to beat Bradley, 73-68, at the DAC.
Samme Givens looked like himself after getting all 17 of his points in the second half, to go along with 10 rebounds.
Bradley (5-5) made a big rally, but the Dragons have more offensive answers than they have had in a while. This Dragons team hasn't even come close to its potential. As we get into 2012, expect this team to get on a roll.
ACROSS THE NATION
Butler's Brad Stevens is one of the nation's best coaches because he has a play for every situation. With just seconds left in a tie game against Purdue, Stevens had one of his players drive the ball hard down the lane. That player was essentially a decoy. Purdue's entire defense went with the ball. Andrew Smith followed the play down the lane and easily tipped in the game-winner.
WILL THEY LOSE?
Murray State is 12-0 after a 66-53 win over Arkansas State. Not sure if the Racers are going to lose in the regular season.
LINE OF THE DAY
Louisville coach Rick Pitino on Big East basketball: "Memphis doesn't need us. We need Memphis. We need Temple. We need to build up basketball again."
SMU, Houston and Central Florida may eventually be replacing Pittsburgh, Syracuse and West Virginia, one of the worst basketball trades in history.
The Syracuse subs outscored the North Carolina State bench, 46-4, in an 88-72 victory.
DICK ]JERARDI'S TOP 15
1. Syracuse (11-0): Shot 56.5 percent and had just eight turnovers in 88-72 win at North Carolina State in front of 19,400. Dion Waiters had a career best 22 for 'Cuse.
2. Ohio State (10-1): Jared Sullinger (foot bone bruise) played just 6 minutes, but Buckeyes won at South Carolina, 74-66.
3. Kentucky (9-1): Anthony Davis had 14 points, 18 rebounds and 5 blocks in 87-62 win over Chattanooga.
4. Louisville (10-0): Hard to call a 95-87 game about defense, but the 'Ville and Memphis combined to have 23 steals and 17 blocks . They also attempted 83 free throws, which is why they scored all those points.
5. Missouri (11-0): Opened 19-0 lead en route to 94-56 rout of William & Mary.
6. North Carolina (9-2): Todd Zeller had 31 points, 10
rebounds in 97-82 win over Appalachian State.
7. Duke (9-1): Plays UNC Greensboro tonight.
8. Marquette (10-0): Freshman Todd Mayo (O.J.'s brother) had 22 points in 93-72 win over Northern Colorado.
9. Baylor (9-0): Trailed by 13 late in the first half at Brigham Young before rallying for 86-83 win.
10. Indiana (10-0): First time the Hoosiers have been 10-0 since 1989-90. Beat Notre Dame in Indianapolis, 69-58.
11. Michigan State (9-2): Tom Izzo's team underachieved last season. They are overachieving so far this season after 74-60 win over Bowling Green.
12. Kansas (7-2): Hosts Davidson tonight.
13. Connecticut (9-1): After yesterday's 77-40 win over Holy Cross, the Huskies have beaten non-conference New England foes in 114 of the last 115 games.
14. Wisconsin (10-2): Badgers a factor again in a strong Big Ten.
15. Xavier (8-1): With four suspended players on bench, was routed at home by Oral Roberts yesterday, 64-42.