No. 5 Vil­lanova sets blocks mark in rout of Ni­cholls

The Times Herald (Norristown, PA) - - SPORTS - By Mike Cranston

PHILADEL­PHIA » Mikal Bridges set ca­reer highs with 23 points and four blocks, and No. 5 Vil­lanova swat­ted away a school-record 13 shots in a 113-77 rout of Ni­cholls on Tues­day night.

Donte DiVin­cenzo added 20 points, Jalen Brun­son had 17 and the Wild­cats (20) had six play­ers in dou­ble fig­ures while shoot­ing 58 per­cent from the field in their sec­ond straight blowout of an in­fe­rior op­po­nent.

Zaqua­vian Smith scored 25 points and Roddy Peters had 17 for the Colonels (1-1), who trailed by as many as 38 points.

Vil­lanova, which cruised past Columbia 75-60 on Fri­day, raced to a 22-9 lead and was never threat­ened. Bridges shot 4 of 7 from 3-point range and the Wild­cats were 13 of 30 from be­hind the arc.

The Colonels, picked to fin­ish 10th out of 13 teams in the South­land Con­fer­ence, en­tered as a 32-point un­der­dog and were quickly over­whelmed in the schools’ first meet­ing.

With just over 8 min­utes re­main­ing in the first half, Ni­cholls had more turnovers (7) than field goals (5) as they fell be­hind 35-11.

The most im­pres­sive Vil­lanova se­quence came when Bridges had two blocks and Omari Spell­man one on the same pos­ses­sion, bring­ing the crowd and the Wild­cats bench to their feet.

Spell­man fin­ished with four blocks.

BIG PIC­TURE

Vil­lanova: Plenty of high­light dunks and im­pres­sive blocks in two easy wins to start the sea­son. The Wild­cats have a lot of weapons, but have yet to be tested.

RE­JECTED

The Wild­cats’ pre­vi­ous team record was 12 blocks, done four times and most re­cently against Delaware in the 2000 NIT. The in­di­vid­ual mark is 10 blocks by Harold Press­ley against Prov­i­dence on Jan. 11, 1986.

UP NEXT

Ni­cholls has its home opener Fri­day against Divi­sion II Spring Hill (Ala.).

Vil­lanova faces Lafayette in Al­len­town, Penn­syl­va­nia, on Fri­day be­fore trav­el­ing to the Ba­hamas for three games in the Bat­tle for At­lantis next week. The Wild­cats could play No. 19 Pur­due and No. 3 Ari­zona in the last two rounds.

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