Villanova vs. Le Moyne Recap | Penn Preview
Written by David Szczepanski on November 13, 2023
In their second game of the week and season, Villanova defeats Le Moyne, 83-57, in some Friday night hoops. Friday night’s game was just Le Moyne’s second Division 1 game in their program’s history. The Dolphins suffered a blowout loss to Georgetown in DC on Tuesday night and the story was relatively the same for the Dolphins on Friday against the Wildcats.
Villanova’s Justin Moore led all scorers with 21 points. Moore, who was 8-16 from the field, also knocked down three three-pointers and grabbed two rebounds. Brendan Hausen crushed six three-pointers for a total of 18 points on Friday evening.
The new transfers for Villanova continued to look efficient and effective on both sides of the court. TJ Bamba shot 5-9 from the field for 15 points, five rebounds, and four assists. Tyler Burton did not score as many as Monday night, but he still scored 10 points in 25 minutes and grabbed a team leading 13 rebounds. Hakim Hart and Lance Ware added stellar defense, especially Hart, who was +23 on the court.
Eric Dixon struggled for Villanova. He didn’t score a basket and took only three shots from the field. Dixon did finish with six rebounds but struggled on defense in the beginning of the game. Even though Dixon did not have his best game, the Wildcats still won confidently, which is a plus, regardless of the opponent.
Mark Armstrong’s defense continues to develop in his sophomore season. In addition to his strong defense, Armstrong played 22 minutes with nine points in his second-straight start this season.
Villanova shot 47.5% from the field and 39.5% (15-38) from three. As mentioned earlier, six of those threes were made by Brendan Hausen. Villanova continues to excel at the free throw line as they made 12 of their 13 free throws.
Le Moyne’s Overall Stats
Le Moyne’s leading scorer was Luke Sutherland. Sutherland was 5-12 from the field with three three-pointers for 15 total points. The only other scorer in double-digits for the Dolphins was Isaiah Salter. Salter, who struggled against Georgetown, scored 10 points on Friday evening.
The Dolphins started the game with great shooting, but they struggled in the second half. Le Moyne shot 35.6% from the field and 36% from three at the end of the game. They made just six of ten free throws.
To begin the evening, Villanova again struggled offensively like against American on Monday. The Wildcats trailed by four points, 8-4, with 16 minutes left in the first half after a Luke Sutherland layup. Some good defense by Armstrong and a three-pointer by Burton led to the Wildcats taking a slight advantage over the Dolphins. After the first media timeout, the Wildcats and Dolphins exchanged buckets for a few minutes. Villanova trailed by three points with 10:40 in the first half after a hot start from Ocypher Owens and Sutherland.
At this point in the game, Villanova needed to find ways to score some baskets against a poor Dolphins defense. Justin Moore and TJ Bamba both made shots to give Villanova a slight advantage. This slight advantage turned into a major 13-0 run by the Villanova Wildcats after some key three-pointers from Moore and Bamba. The Wildcats took a 48-34 lead into halftime.
At the half, the only scorer in the game with double-digit points was Justin Moore with 16 points. Tyler Burton scored seven points with seven rebounds in his 13:40 seconds played in the first twenty minutes. TJ Bamba, Mark Armstrong, and Jordan Longino all played a big part in the first half by providing depth scoring and defense, especially when Dixon and the offense was struggling.
The Wildcats added to their offensive momentum in the second half. TJ Bamba scored five points in about thirty seconds and Tyler Burton knocked down three straight free throws. Villanova extended their lead to 16 with about 16 minutes left to play on the Main Line. It seemed like Villanova was ready to pull away with the win, but Le Moyne battled despite their lack of Division I Experience. Darrick Jones Jr. and Isaiah Salter were able to cut the deficit to 14 points twice midway in the second half, but the Wildcats were the better team and showed their resilience to extend their lead to as many as 26 points.
Of course, Villanova was expected to win big against Le Moyne, but Coach Neptune thinks the Wildcats still gained a lot from this game: “We have a lot of experience on this team. A lot of older guys that are playing together for the first time, so every minute that we are out there, we get a chance to play with each other and build trust as a team.”
Player of the Game: Justin Moore
Justin Moore scored ten points on Monday night against American. However, he had opportunities and open looks to extend that total. Moore struggled shooting the ball behind the arc, but on Friday, he showed his talent that allowed him to become a star prior to his injury last season. Moore’s 21 points show that he is still a major scoring option, regardless of if Eric Dixon is firing offensively.
In their first Big 5 matchup of the year, Villanova travels to The Palestra to battle Penn at 7pm on Monday. The Wildcats are 2-0 after beating American and Le Moyne this past week. Penn is 2-1 in their first three games of the season. The Quakers defeated John Jay College, 102-57, on Monday and Bucknell, 80-61, on Wednesday. Penn lost their most recent game on Friday against Saint Joseph’s, 69-61.
The Quakers lost one of their top scorers this offseason in Jordan Dingle. Dingle, who averaged 23.4 points per game last season, is now a member of Villanova’s Big East rival, St. John’s.
Through their first three games, Penn’s leading scorer is Clark Slajchert. Slajchert, who is a senior guard from Los Angeles, averages 17.3 points per game this season and is shooting 56% from three in the first three games. Freshman Tyler Perkins is Penn’s best rebounder and averages almost 16 points per game. Ed Holland III, a junior from Philadelphia, is 10-14 from the field this season while averaging ten points per game.
The Quakers are shooting 46.9% from the field and 36% from three in their first three games. They have limited opponents to just a 36% shooting percentage from the field and 29.7% from three. Penn has excelled in rebounding; however, they have struggled at the free throw line. Penn is just 34 for 53 from the charity stripe. The Quakers also turned the ball over 16 times against St. Joe’s.
WXVU will have live coverage from The Palestra on Monday night beginning with the pregame show at 6:30pm. Tipoff is scheduled for 7pm.