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No. 5 Villanova sets blocks mark in 113-77 rout of Nicholls

PHILADELPHIA (AP) Mikal Bridges rejected consecutive shots by Roddy Peters in the lane, producing ''oohs'' from the crowd.

And No. 5 Villanova wasn't done, not even on this possession.

Omari Spellman brought the fans and bench players to their feet by swatting Tevon Saddler's follow attempt from behind, giving the Wildcats three blocks in 8 seconds and setting the tone in a record-setting 113-77 rout of Nicholls on Tuesday night.

''That's what we should be fired up about,'' Bridges said. ''defensive things, not offensive.''

Bridges set career highs with 23 points, four blocks and five steals, and Villanova (2-0) set a school record by blocking 13 shots. Spellman also had four rejections.

''We have the potential to be a very good defensive team,'' Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. ''I think you saw some of that tonight. It was more athleticism tonight than defensive technique.''

Donte DiVincenzo added 20 points, Jalen Brunson had 17 and the Wildcats had six players in double figures while shooting 58 percent from the field in their second straight blowout of an inferior opponent.

''I can't imagine many teams in the country being better than them,'' Nicholls coach Richie Riley said. ''I think they have a chance to hang another banner. I think they're that good.''

Zaquavian Smith scored 25 points and Peters had 17 for the Colonels (1-1), who trailed by as many as 38 points.

Villanova, which cruised past Columbia 75-60 on Friday, raced to a 22-9 lead and was never threatened. Bridges shot 4 of 7 from 3-point range and the Wildcats were 13 of 30 from behind the arc.

That's an improvement from the 7-of-32 long-distance shooting in the opener.

''A lot of extra passes,'' Wright said.

The Colonels, picked to finish 10th out of 13 teams in the Southland Conference, entered as a 32-point underdog and were quickly overwhelmed in the schools' first meeting.

With just over 8 minutes remaining in the first half, Nicholls had more turnovers (7) than field goals (5).

Shortly after the three quick blocks, Villanova led 35-11.

''When you play in games like this and you're a school like us, sometimes you get out there and you really want to do well so bad that you put yourself in a tough (situation),'' Riley said. ''Our guys over-penetrated and over-drove the ball and they made plays at the rim.''

BIG PICTURE

Nicholls: Hours after Jay Clune was appointed Nicholls' new president, the basketball team collected a check to bring back to Thibodaux, Louisiana. But Riley's transfer-dominated team needs work to end a 19-year NCAA Tournament drought.

Villanova: Plenty of highlight dunks and impressive blocks in two easy wins to start the season. The Wildcats have a lot of weapons, but have yet to be tested.

REJECTED

The Wildcats' previous team record was 12 blocks, done four times and most recently against Delaware in the 2000 NIT. The individual mark is 10 blocks by Harold Pressley against Providence on Jan. 11, 1986.

DEFENSE MIA

Nicholls ranked 335th out of 351 teams last season by allowing 82.1 points a game. And while they won their opener 111-106 over Texas-Rio Grande Valley, they couldn't outshoot Villanova.

The Wildcats scored at will for much of the night, getting good looks inside and open 3s from the perimeter. The Colonels tried to push the pace, but they finished with 17 turnovers and drives to the rim often ended with a blocked shot.

UP NEXT

Nicholls has its home opener Friday against Division II Spring Hill (Ala.).

Villanova faces Lafayette in Allentown, Pennsylvania, on Friday before traveling to the Bahamas for three games in the Battle for Atlantis next week. The Wildcats could play No. 19 Purdue and No. 3 Arizona in the last two rounds.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Tim Delaney 22.0
  Zach Young missed 2nd of 2 free throws 22.0
+ 1 Zach Young made 1st of 2 free throws 22.0
  Personal foul on Matt Kennedy 22.0
  Defensive rebound by Zach Young 24.0
  Tom Leibig missed 3-pt. jump shot 26.0
  Defensive rebound by Collin Gillespie 37.0
  Roddy Peters missed 3-pt. jump shot 41.0
+ 2 Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree made dunk, assist by Collin Gillespie 53.0
  Defensive rebound by Tom Leibig 1:01
  Kevin Johnson missed jump shot 1:03
Team Stats
Points 77 113
Field Goals 27-70 (38.6%) 42-73 (57.5%)
3-Pointers 9-24 (37.5%) 13-30 (43.3%)
Free Throws 14-23 (60.9%) 16-23 (69.6%)
Total Rebounds 32 49
Offensive 5 8
Defensive 19 36
Team 8 5
Assists 15 28
Steals 9 8
Blocks 6 13
Turnovers 16 15
Fouls 20 16
Technicals 0 0
away team logo
4
Z. Smith G
25 PTS, 3 REB
home team logo
25
M. Bridges G/F
23 PTS, 6 REB, 4 AST
12T
away team logo Nicholls State 1-1 304777
home team logo5 Villanova 2-05459113
Team Stats
away team logoNicholls State 1-1 100.3 PPG 47 RPG 17.8 APG
home team logo5 Villanova 2-0 97.3 PPG 46.3 RPG 20.0 APG
Key Players
4
Z. Smith G 12.0 PPG 4.5 RPG 0.3 APG 40.0 FG%
25
M. Bridges G/F 18.3 PPG 5.7 RPG 2.7 APG 62.1 FG%
Top Scorers
4
Z. Smith G 25 PTS 3 REB 0 AST
25
M. Bridges G/F 23 PTS 6 REB 4 AST
38.6 FG% 57.5
37.5 3PT FG% 43.3
60.9 FT% 69.6
Nicholls State
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
Z. Smith 25 25 3 0 1 0 0 0 7/13 6/9 5/5 0 3
R. Peters 30 17 4 3 3 2 3 3 8/20 0/1 1/2 2 2
T. Saddler 28 15 5 1 0 0 4 3 6/14 1/3 2/5 2 3
L. Robertin 17 4 1 0 0 3 1 2 2/5 0/0 0/0 0 1
L. Rutledge 23 1 2 2 0 0 3 1 0/4 0/4 1/3 0 2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
Z. Smith 25 25 3 0 1 0 0 0 7/13 6/9 5/5 0 3
R. Peters 30 17 4 3 3 2 3 3 8/20 0/1 1/2 2 2
T. Saddler 28 15 5 1 0 0 4 3 6/14 1/3 2/5 2 3
L. Robertin 17 4 1 0 0 3 1 2 2/5 0/0 0/0 0 1
L. Rutledge 23 1 2 2 0 0 3 1 0/4 0/4 1/3 0 2
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. O'Field 8 3 1 0 0 0 1 2 1/1 1/1 0/0 0 1
K. Jackson 7 3 1 0 0 1 0 4 1/1 0/0 1/2 1 0
J. Powell 28 3 3 9 3 0 3 3 1/8 1/5 0/0 0 3
D. Regis 15 3 2 0 0 0 0 2 0/1 0/0 3/4 0 2
K. Johnson 15 2 1 0 2 0 1 0 1/3 0/1 0/0 0 1
Z. Young 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 1/2 0 1
S. Repichowski 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
R. Blades 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
R. Lyons 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
J. Verhagen - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 77 24 15 9 6 16 20 27/70 9/24 14/23 5 19
Villanova
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Bridges 27 23 6 4 5 4 3 3 7/11 4/7 5/6 0 6
J. Brunson 29 17 4 5 0 0 2 1 7/9 1/2 2/3 1 3
P. Booth 17 12 3 2 1 1 2 1 5/9 2/5 0/0 0 3
E. Paschall 22 11 6 3 0 2 1 1 5/8 0/1 1/3 3 3
O. Spellman 22 9 6 3 0 4 2 4 3/8 1/3 2/2 2 4
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
M. Bridges 27 23 6 4 5 4 3 3 7/11 4/7 5/6 0 6
J. Brunson 29 17 4 5 0 0 2 1 7/9 1/2 2/3 1 3
P. Booth 17 12 3 2 1 1 2 1 5/9 2/5 0/0 0 3
E. Paschall 22 11 6 3 0 2 1 1 5/8 0/1 1/3 3 3
O. Spellman 22 9 6 3 0 4 2 4 3/8 1/3 2/2 2 4
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB
D. DiVincenzo 29 20 4 4 2 0 2 2 6/8 2/3 6/7 0 4
C. Gillespie 18 10 4 5 0 0 0 1 4/9 2/6 0/0 0 4
D. Cosby-Roundtree 17 8 6 0 0 1 3 1 4/7 0/0 0/0 2 4
J. Samuels 11 3 2 2 0 1 0 1 1/3 1/2 0/2 0 2
T. Delaney 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2
D. Grace 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
M. Kennedy 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
T. Leibig 2 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 1
P. Heck 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 0
D. Painter - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 200 113 44 28 8 13 15 16 42/73 13/30 16/23 8 36