Super Bowl Sunday started with a Villanova victory over Georgetown at the Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats and Hoyas played a sloppy game full of fouls but stayed competitive in an old school Big East battle. The 12 point victory extended #14 Villanova’s winning streak to 10 games while increasing their record to 18-4 overall and 9-0 in the Big East.
The first half was defined by foul trouble as six players had 2 fouls and Georgetown’s star center Jessie Govan had 3 fouls. This limited Govan’s playing time in the first half which benefited the Wildcats. However, Georgetown went into the break with a 34-33 lead after guard James Akinjo hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to take the lead. The only ‘Cats to generate any offense in the first half were guard Collin Gillespie and foward Eric Paschall as they scored 26 of Villanova’s 33 points.
The second half was more of the same as the foul trouble continued for both teams. By the end of the game five players had 4 fouls while Georgetown’s Govan and Villanova’s Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree both fouled out. Paschall and Gillespie once again carried the load as they combined for 28 of Villanova’s 44 points.
The big difference between the two halves was that the ‘Cats offense caught fire as they went on a 16-2 run that the Hoyas were never able to answer. Guard Phil Booth scored 8 of the 16 points in an otherwise poor performance for the usual consistent senior leader. This gave Villanova a 7 point lead with 2 minutes remaining and the ‘Cats never lost control.
The star of the game was Collin Gillespie as he had a career high 30 points on 7-13 from the field, 6-11 from deep, grabbed 5 rebounds and dished out 4 assists. This was Gillespie’s break out game of the season as he has proved to be a legit third option along with Paschall and Booth. With last season’s starting point guard and national player of the year Jalen Brunson in attendance, Gillespie showed Brunson who the new star guard for the Wildcats is.
Two other key contributors for Villanova were fowards Eric Paschall and Jermaine Samuals. Paschall scored 26 points and grabbed 6 rebounds to continue a superb stretch of play since the start of 2019. Samuels had a career high 16 rebounds and added 2 blocks in a game in which he shined on the defensive end. Although he did not contribute much on the offensive side of the ball, Samuels showed how effective he can be on the glass.
Georgetown was paced by freshman guard James Akinjo who scored 19 points and added 4 assists. Without center Jessie Govan for most of the game, senior forward Trey Mourning added 12 points and 6 rebounds as he played more than usual. This loss brings Georgetown to 14-8 overall and 4-5 in Big East play.