NJIT
5Villanova
67 - 92 Final
  for this game

Villanova uses second-half charge to down upset-minded NJIT

Dec 24, 2014 - 8:07 AM Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Dylan Ennis led six players in double figures with 17 points, as No. 7 Villanova subdued NJIT by a 92-67 count at the Pavilion in a game which was much closer than the score indicated -- or the matchup might suggest -- for quite some time.

Ryan Arcidiacono added 16 for the Wildcats (12-0), who trailed by as many as seven early in the second half but used a surge shortly thereafter which ultimately led them to victory.

Phil Booth contributed 14 points and Daniel Ochefu picked up 13 points with 10 rebounds for Villanova, which hadn't won 12 games to begin a season since 1961-62.

"That first half was a recipe for an upset," said Villanova coach Jay Wright. "That was how they beat Michigan. We came ready to play. We jumped out to an eight point lead. But we were very aggressive in pressing them and it opened up the floor for them. They have a style that can upset teams that are bigger. They gave us a lot of trouble. They're good."

Damon Lynn provided 13 points for the Highlanders (5-8), who fell short in their bid for a second shocking road victory against a ranked opponent this year. Tim Coleman poured in 12 and Winfield Willis had 10 before fouling out.

Coleman's jumper put the visitors ahead by a 44-41 count at the break, and they scored the first four points of the second half to make it a seven-point spread on a bucket by Odera Nweke.

However, eight in a row from Villanova, capped by an Ennis lay-in, made it a one-point margin with 13:52 left. NJIT countered immediately on an Osa Izevbuwa triple to go back on top 51-49.

'Nova gained separation with 12 straight from there, as Ennis kicked it off with a layup, Arcidiacono added a basket and followed with a trey, then Booth added a shot from distance before Josh Hart completed the clip on two free throws with 10:29 to go.

Izevbuwa's shot proved to be the last time NJIT's deficit dipped below double digits. The Wildcats added a 15-3 run to turn the contest into a rout. Hart connected from beyond the arc to make it 77-56 with 4:59 left and the hosts cruised from there.

Villanova led 9-2 early on, but an 8-0 run by NJIT pulled it even, 15-15 on a bucket by Winfield just after the seven-minute mark.

Hart's first shot from distance gave the Wildcats a 26-20 edge, and the Highlanders remained close. Another three, this time from Kris Jenkins, provided a 36-30 edge for the hosts.

Coleman answered from beyond the arc to kick off a 14-5 run which gave them a three-point lead at halftime. Izevbuwa also converted a three-pointer during that surge.

Game Notes

Villanova can match a school record by winning its first 13 in a season for the first time since 1937-38 when it takes on Butler Dec. 31 ... Despite shooting 60 percent (15-of-25 in the first half), the Highlanders made only 9- of-31 in the second half ... NJIT memorably topped Michigan at Crisler Arena by a 72-70 count on Dec. 6 ... Big East player of the week JayVaughn Pinkston totaled 12 points on 10-of-12 shooting from the charity stripe.