Penn sophomore center Darien Nelson-Henry was part of Penn’s solid rebounding effort as the Quakers outrebounded a sizable Villanova squad. However, Nelson-Henry was in foul trouble along with his frontcourt mates, giving Nova a chance to take over in the paint.
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Villanova junior guard Darrun Hilliard scored a game-high 19 points on 5-for-10 shooting, helping to pace the the Wildcats early on. When the Wildcats jumped to a 31-9 lead, Hilliard was tied with Penn as he had hit three of his first four three-pointers.
Senior guard Miles Cartwright puts up a three in the first half against Villanova. Penn hit six threes during the game to Villanova’s 10 treys, as the Wildcats built their early lead via the three-ball.
When Penn fell down 31-9 in the first half, senior captain Miles Cartwright knocked down four threes to cut into Nova’s lead. However, Cartwright only added three points after halftime, finishing with 17 points.
Freshman guard Tony Bagtas impressed in his first career start, contributing a game-high nine assists while also adding seven points and six rebounds in 36 minutes.
After playing just five minutes over Penn’s last three games, it was Tony Bagtas’ time to shine, giving the Red and Blue a solid effort as he pushed aside others to join Miles Cartwright, Fran Dougherty, Tony Hicks and Darien Nelson-Henry in the starting lineup.
Penn sophomore forward Julian Harrell grimaces in pain after injuring his leg in the first half against Villanova. Harrell would later return to the game, scoring four points on 2-11 shooting as the Quakers fell to the Wildcats, 77-54.
Despite picking up his fourth foul early in the second half, sophomore center Darien Nelson-Henry saved his best performance for final 20 minutes, leading Penn with 21 points and five rebounds in the 12-point loss.