Saturday, December 23, 2006

In Maiden Trip to La Salle's Tom Gola Arena, Villanova Eventually Sinks Explorers, 64-51

by Craig Dimitri

Villanova made its first expedition to the Explorers' small on-campus venue, Tom Gola Arena - and came away victorious - its fifth straight victory over La Salle. The Wildcats prevailed, 64-51, in its City Series opener - its ninth straight victory in City Series play, after sweeping the Big Five last season. The Wildcats improved to 9-2 overall, while La Salle fell to 6-3.

Three Wildcats reached double figures: Curtis Sumpter with 13 points, Mike Nardi with a dozen, and Scottie Reynolds added 11. For La Salle, Rodney Green and Darnell Harris each scored a dozen points. Of some concern for the Wildcats is that La Salle outrebounded them 41-29.

The Explorers were down as many as 19 points in the first half and never led at any point, although the game was competitive. La Salle trailed by 11 at halftime, but tied the score at 41 at the 14:52 mark. Moreover, they trailed just 54-51, with only 3:15 remaining, before Villanova was able to put some distance between them and the Explorers. It was Villanova's lowest scoring output of the season thus far.

It wasn't pretty, but in City Series play (especially in a tiny venue where Villanova had never played previously), any victory is worth having. After a week-long respite for the holidays, the Wildcats return to the Pavilion on Saturday, December 30, for another City Series opponent, Temple.

Questions? Comments? Information? You can contact Craig Dimitri at

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