VILLANOVA, Pa. - The University of Pennsylvania men’s basketball team was overwhelmed early by No. 16/16 Villanova, and never recovered in taking a 77-57 loss to the Wildcats Monday night at The Pavilion.
Villanova (10-2) hit six of its first seven shots on Monday night and led 14-0 before the first media timeout. Sam Jones finally put the Quakers (5-7) on the board nearly six minutes into the game, hitting a three-pointer on their 10th possession, but the Wildcats scored the next 16 points as the Red and Blue went without a point for nine more minutes after the Jones trey.
Darien Nelson-Henry scored six points in succession for the Quakers late in the half, but Villanova’s lead was as large as 29 points (36-7) before settling on 39-11 at halftime.
The numbers bore out what a miserable half it was for Penn. The Quakers were 1-of-20 from the field at one point in the period, and ended the half just 5-of-29 (17.2 percent) including 1-of-16 (6.3 percent) from beyond the arc. At the other end, Villanova shot 51.6 percent from the field in the first half.
The second half was much better, as Penn scored 46 points led primarily by Jackson Donahue (18 points in the period) and Matt Howard (11). The Quakers shot 54.8 percent from the field (17 of 31) and knocked down six treys -- five of them by Donahue.
Donahue’s 18 points were a season/career high, as were his five three-pointers. Jake Silpe finished with six assists, while Jones led Penn with seven rebounds.
Daniel Ochefu used a hot start to finish with a double-double for Villanova, with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Jalen Brunson led all scorers with 22 points, while Ryan Arcidiacono had 13 points and Josh Hart added 10.
Penn returns to action on Saturday, hosting Binghamton at The Palestra. The Quakers and the Bearcats will tip off at 1 p.m.