Villanova (13-5 overall, 3-4 Big East)
The No. 18 Wildcats visited Rutgers on Wednesday, losing in a stunning fashion, 80-68. It was the Scarlet Knights’ first conference victory this year and its’ first win versus a ranked opponent in over two years. Rutgers coach, Fred Hill got his most important win since taking the job last season after leaving Villanova, where he was an assistant under Coach Jay Wright. Junior guard Anthony Farmer and freshman guard Mike Coburn led the way for the Scarlet Knights with 23 points each. Freshman guard Malcolm Grant scored 13 points for the Wildcats, who endured a stretch of almost 12 minutes in the second half without a field goal and turned the ball over a season-high 19 times. Sophomore guard Scottie Reynolds, Villanova’s leading scorer on the season, struggled mightily, shooting 5-19 from the field.
Notre Dame came to the Wachovia Center Saturday and handed Villanova its’ second straight loss, winning 90-80. Junior guard Kyle McAlarney paced the Irish with 30 points, while sophomore forward Luke Harangody added 25 points and 10 rebounds of his own. Freshman forward Antonio Pena had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Wildcats. The loss will likely remove Villanova from the Top 25 in the national rankings.
This week, the Wildcats travel to Pittsburg on Wednesday and host Syracuse on Saturday.
Temple (9-9 overall, 2-2 Atlantic 10)
The Owls played three times this week, winning twice. On Sunday, they traveled to Missouri to face Saint Louis, pulling out a nail-biter in overtime and winning 54-53. Temple junior guard Dionte Christmas was the game’s high scorer with 20 points and sealed the win with a deflection in the final seconds.
Temple welcomed Penn to the Liacouras Center on Wednesday and won 80-64. Christmas was again the game’s leading scorer with 24 points, while Temple senior guard Mark Tyndale added 18. Temple coach, Fran Dunphy led his squad to their third straight victory by defeating his former team. He was the coach at Penn for 17 years before joining the Owls last season.
On Saturday, Temple hosted St. Joseph’s and lost a heartbreaking 68-67, ending their three-game winning streak. Senior forward Pat Calathes hit the game-winning three-pointer for the Hawks with 3.9 seconds left after Tyndale missed the front end of a 1-and-1 that could have sealed the win for the Owls. Tyndale had an open look at the buzzer that was blocked by junior forward Ahmad Nivins. Christmas, again, led Temple with 24 points; Tyndale added 18.
This week, the Owls play at Fordham on Thursday.
St. Joseph’s (12-5 overall, 4-1 Atlantic 10)
St, Joseph’s went on the road Wednesday to play Massachusetts and won 81-77. Nivins led the Hawks with 20 points and 12 rebounds, while Calathes added 16 points and 10 rebounds. Sophomore guard Ricky Harris scored 30 points for the Minutemen in a losing effort. The game marked St. Joseph’s 10th victory in its last 12 meetings with Massachusetts.
In their 68-67 win against Temple on Saturday, the Hawks were led by Calathes’ 24 points and nine rebounds. Senior forward Rob Ferguson added 19 points and made all five three-pointers he took.
This week, the Hawks play at home on Wednesday against George Washington and then travel to Fordham on Saturday.
La Salle (7-11 overall, 2-3 Atlantic 10)
La Salle hosted Charlotte on Wednesday and lost 84-78 to snap their three-game winning streak. Freshman forward Jerrell Williams had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Explorers in the losing effort, while sophomore guard Ruben Guillandeaux and sophomore forward Yves Mekongo-Mbala added 15 points each. Senior guard Leemire Goldwire scored 18 points to lead Charlotte.
Saint Louis came to town on Saturday and beat La Salle 81-74. Junior guard Kevin Lisch scored 22 points to lead the Bilikens and senior forward Luke Meyer added 18. The Explorers were led by Mekongo-Mbala, who added 18 points.
This week, the Explorers host St. Bonaventure on Wednesday and head to Xavier on Saturday.
Penn (5-12 overall, 0-0 Ivy League)
The only game for Penn this week was the one against Temple on Wednesday, which they lost 80-64. Freshman guard Tyler Bernardini led the Quakers with 16 points, scoring all of them in the second half. Freshman forward Jack Eggleston added 15 points.
This week, the Quakers host Harvard on Friday and Dartmouth on Saturday.
You can contact Matt Lettieri at ML1247@messiah.edu .