No. 12 Villanova thumps winless Delaware

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Villanova's Josh Hart looks to pass the ball against Delaware's Anthony Mosley. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

With all of Villanova's impressive statistics through the first two weeks of the season, the number "28.9 percent" stands out like a rash.

That was the Wildcats' mark from three-point range through their first five games. In fact, Delaware coach Monte Ross had his zone defense guard the inside Sunday so Villanova would shoot from deep.

But in its Wells Fargo Center regular-season debut, No. 12 Villanova established season highs for made three-pointers (13) and three-point percentage (40.6) and put five players in double figures en route to a 78-47 romp over the Blue Hens.

Sophomore Kris Jenkins drained four of eight from beyond the arc and led Villanova (6-0) with 13 points. Senior Darrun Hilliard, who went into the game with only four treys in 23 attempts, hit 3 of 5 from deep and contributed 12 points.

"It's been bad," 'Nova coach Jay Wright said. "I think some of it is shot selection. It's not being selfish, it's probably being overconfident. I thought today we got some inside-out passes from our forwards. I thought we made some good extra passes in the second half."

Hilliard credited his teammates with remaining confident in him and keeping him positive.

"I always have the confidence to shoot the ball, knowing that my teammates have confidence in me and my coach does," he said. "I just took my time and like Coach said, I took the right shots. They were in rhythm and they just felt good."

Ross, who played without his two most experienced players, senior Kyle Anderson and junior Marvin King-Davis, and utilized a rotation of five freshmen and four sophomores, gave his opponent credit.

"We saw they were shooting 28 percent but, lo and behold, they made them," Ross said. "It was a silver lining that we made them beat us with something that's not their strength right now. But that's what a good team does, and they're a good team."

The Wildcats also got 12 points from 6-foot-11 junior Daniel Ochefu, an emerging offensive force in the middle thanks to a hook shot he is confident enough to try with either hand. His passing also helped his team be successful from the perimeter.

The Wildcats took an early 11-point lead, then saw Delaware cut the deficit to five at 17-12. The Blue Hens still were close at 21-15 with 4 minutes, 42 seconds left, but Villanova outscored them by 13-1 and led by 34-16 at the break.

Hilliard hit back-to-back threes at the start of the second half to spark a 10-0 run that stretched the margin to 28. The advantage would get as high as 35 late.

Josh Hart added 11 points and Dylan Ennis 10 for Villanova. Cazmon Hayes led Delaware (0-5) with 17.

 


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