Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 12th-ranked team in the land takes part in the Progressive Legends Classic on Thursday night, as the Villanova Wildcats host the Bucknell Bison at The Pavilion.
The Wildcats are off to a 2-0 start, but following this meeting the competition ramps up a notch as the team clashes with 15th-ranked VCU early next week, and then takes on either Michigan or Oregon in New York as part of this event as well.
Villanova's opener was a 77-66 victory over Lehigh at the new PPL Center in Allentown, PA, followed by an 81-44 thrashing of MD-Eastern Shore this past Monday at home.
Meanwhile, the Bison have split their first two games, first defeating Marist last Friday, 75-72, before being turned back by nationally-ranked Michigan on the road Monday night, 77-53.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, Villanova leads, 15-9.
Making the jump from Sojka Pavilion in Lewisburg to the Crisler Center in Ann Arbor was sure to turn the heads of the Bison as the team was handed a 24- point setback by the Wolverines earlier this week. Chris Haas was the lone double-digit scorer for the visitors as he dropped in 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting behind the 3-point line. Nana Foulland accounted for nine points and seven rebounds as the team finished with almost as many turnovers (17) as made baskets (19).
Through two games, Haas is the lone double-digit scorer for the Bison with his 13.0 ppg, thanks in large part to his 6-of-12 effort from beyond the arc. Unfortunately, the rest of the Bucknell roster has combined to shoot only 7- of-28 out on the perimeter in the early going. The squad is averaging only 64.0 ppg, compared to 74.5 ppg for the competition.
Against the Hawks a few nights back, Villanova shared the wealth as four players scored in double figures, led by Kris Jenkins with 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor in a reserve role. Dylan Ennis, Darrun Hilliard and Daniel Ochefu each dropped in 10 points, the latter also clearing nine rebounds in order to give the hosts a 31-22 edge on the glass.
The Wildcats, who held UMES to only five field goals in the first half and 34.2 percent shooting for the game, also forced 22 turnovers against a Hawks squad that finished with only 13 made field goals on the night.
While it is still very early, the positive signs for the Wildcats show a willingness to share the basketball as there are five players who are averaging double digits in scoring, but none is putting up more than 14.5 ppg (Ennis).