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Villanova crushes Providence, 68-50, to end their five-game losing streak | Villanova vs. Providence Recap

Written by on February 6, 2024

The five-game losing streak is finally over for Villanova as they defeat Providence, 68-50, at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats played a complete game with a strong defensive first half and powerful offensive second half. Villanova needed to start a winning streak in a “must win” situation against Providence, and they were able to get back into the win column for the first time since January 12th against DePaul.

Villanova ends their five-game losing streak on Sunday night at the Wells Fargo Center against Providence.

Villanova had contributions from their entire roster. They outscored Providence in bench points, 28-0. Once again, the Wildcats’ leading scorer was Eric Dixon. Dixon took just one shot in the first half, but he finished with 12 points on 5-8 shooting from the field. Brendan Hausen knocked down three threes with 11 points in almost 24 minutes. Lance Ware played extremely well in the paint defensively. He also contributed two points, six rebounds, two assists, three blocks, and was a +14 when on the court in 14 minutes of game action.

As a team, the Wildcats shot 42% from the field and 36% from behind the arc. Villanova’s strong three-point shooting made the difference, especially in the low scoring first half. They did leave some points left on the board at the charity stripe by only converting 4 of 8 attempts. Besides the free throw struggles and a low number of attempts, Villanova dominated Providence in many categories. The Wildcats won the rebounding battle by four rebounds and won the turnover margin by eight. They forced 13 turnovers against the Friars.

Providence’s average leading scorer in the 2023-24 campaign, Devin Carter, shot 5-9 from the field for 17 points and five rebounds. Most of his damage came from behind the arc, but Villanova kept him quiet for most of the night until late in the second half. Josh Oduro converted just 4 of 10 shots from the field, but ten successful free throws gave him 18 points against Villanova to lead all scorers. Ticket Gaines contributed ten points, seven rebounds, and an assist. The Friars converted just 29.4% of their attempts from the field and 21% from three. Despite shooting just 69% from the free throw line as a team, Providence was a perfect 13-13 at the line.

Game Recap

First Half: Extremely Low Scoring

It would be an understatement to say the first half was low scoring. At the 7:30 mark in the first half, Villanova led Providence, 14-9. Both defenses played well in the first half, but the offenses also missed almost every open opportunity in the first ten minutes. After a TJ Bamba layup, the Wildcats extended their lead to eight points with 6:07 left in the first half.

Providence could not buy a bucket in the first twenty minutes. The Friars had nine turnovers in the first half and they converted just 16.7% of their shots from the field. Josh Oduro was really the only source of offense for Providence and six of his eight first half points came from the free throw line. Despite some foul trouble, Bamba and Hakim Hart led the Wildcats to a 26-16 lead at halftime.

Second Half: Eric Dixon and Villanova pull away from Providence

In the first twenty minutes, Villanova’s defense outplayed one of the best defenses in college basketball. The Wildcats continued their success in the second half. They scored eight quick points in the first three minutes, including two threes from Tyler Burton. Hausen was efficient from behind the arc all night. His transition three-pointer with 15:41 left gave Villanova a 23-point lead over Providence.

To switch things up, Providence used the full court press against the Wildcats with about ten minutes left in the game. The full court press allowed the Friars to gain some momentum, but Villanova did a much better job against the pressure in this game. The Cats led by as many as 26 points with 10:42 left.

The Friars found some offense in the last portion of the game. They cut the deficit to 12 points with 3:01 left. Ticket Gaines and Devin Carter knocked down some late threes, but it was already too late for Providence. An easy layup for Mark Armstrong, who did start against the Friars, sealed the victory for Villanova. The Wildcats received a loud applause and sigh of relief from their home crowd at the Wells Fargo Center as the almost month-long winless streak came to an end on Sunday evening in front of 13,168 fans.

My Thoughts + The Road Ahead

Yes, the first half featured a lot of missed opportunities on offense. However, Villanova’s defense stepped up and provided the energy to begin the game. Villanova just needed a win. It did not matter how pretty the victory was at this point in the season. A blowout victory will definitely help the Wildcats get back into the March Madness conversation, especially with Providence being ahead of them at the start of the game. The Wildcats must continue their winning ways and find consistency against Xavier at the Cintas Center tomorrow night at 7pm.

Villanova improved to 12-10 on the season with their win against Providence. They are now 5-6 in conference play, which moves them into eighth place in the Big East. The Wildcats play the Friars again in Rhode Island on March 2nd at 12pm