Hart, Jenkins lead sixth straight win
Jay Wright and his Villanova players are ready to enjoy Thanksgiving and take a muchneeded break from basketball.
Josh Hart had 13 points and 11 rebounds, Kris Jenkins scored 11 points and No. 2 Villanova knocked off feisty College of Charleston 6347 on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats improved to 6-0 a season after winning the national championship but struggled to put away the overmatched Cougars in their fourth game in seven days and their sixth in 13.
“It was not a pretty game,” Wright said. “We just found a way to gut it out.”
Mikal Bridges and Eric Paschall added eight points and five rebounds apiece for the Wildcats, who shot just 5 for 17 from 3-point range and 8 for 22 from the field in the second half.
Jarrell Brantley led Charleston with 18 points and seven rebounds. The Cougars shot 4 for 22 from 3-point range and committed 14 turnovers.
“It’s a good way to learn,” Brantley said. “They’re a really good team and do a lot of things right. It will only help.”
Jenkins, who famously hit the title-winning shot to beat North Carolina at the buzzer last April, was held out of the starting lineup by Wright because he missed a class. But the senior forward came in just 3 minutes into the game and played 28 minutes, shooting 4 for 7 from the field.
Hart, who won MVP of the 2016 Gildan Charleston Classic after leading the Wildcats to the tournament title on Sunday, also shot 4 for 7 from the field and 2 for 3 from 3-point range.
He was called back into the game in the final minutes after Wright admitted to putting his walk-ons in too early — not that it bothered the team’s star senior.
“I’m not really worried about minutes,” said Hart, a Wooden Award candidate. “I’d love to play the whole game if the coach lets me.”