The Wildcats shot 47.2 percent in the first half and were led by a pair of sophomore guards. Ryan Arcidiacono scored 14 points in the half on 6 for 9 shooting, while Dylan Ennis added 12 points off the bench. Ennis, the Rice University transfer, made his first appearance for Villanova after recovering from a broken hand suffered in the preseason.
USC was led in the half by Pe’Shon Howard, and Byron Wesley, who scored 16 and 13 points respectively. The Trojans were plagued by turnovers in the half, coughing up the ball 11 times, while Villanova accumulated 6 steals.
The Wildcats weren’t ready to slow down in the second half, stretching their lead to as much as 21. Villanova took their foot off the gas a bit in the final minutes, but still cruised to a 93-79 victory.
While Arcidiacono cooled off in the second half, the rest of the Wildcats began to heat up. James Bell finished the game with 17 points and Darrun Hilliard added 16 for the Wildcats, who received strong play from their guards in the contest. Arcidiacono finished with 14 and Ennis with 13 to round out the strong effort from the Villanova guards on the day.
Howard and Wesley, who finished with 23 and 15 points respectively, led the Trojans in the losing effort. Wesley added 10 rebounds for the double-double, but USC was outmatched by a balanced Villanova attack.
With the win, Villanova improved to 5-0 on the season.
By: Kyle Babcock
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