Temple had the lead over Villanova at halftime in front of a full-ish crowd at the Liacouras Center. You saw how and why Villanova took it over, as past heroes Kris Jenkins and Phil Booth sitting right behind the Wildcats bench enjoying themselves completely as the second half was all about the visitors.
They’re fair, those comparisons, beyond the physical resemblance, but Collin Gillespie does a lot of Jalen Brunson things, too. Like setting up down in the block, then waiting as his teammates screen for each other, an opening eventually appearing for Gillespie to kick the ball back out for a good-looking three-point try.
After halftime, that combo was working as Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Jermaine Samuels and Justin Moore all hit during Villanova’s 20-2 run to start the second half.
Jalen liked the Liacouras Center. Gillespie did a pretty hot-shooting exhibition in the first half, scoring immediately with 2 three-pointers. At one point, he had 15 points, Temple had 14, the rest of the ‘Nova guys had 2 points, both on free throws.
When Gillespie heated up in the late going, hitting three straight three-pointers, his fifth, sixth and seventh of the afternoon, it was game, set, match.
In the first half, Quinton Rose found a comfort zone, getting lanes to the basket, hitting some jumpers, making great use of the backboard as he put up 14 first-half points. Just as big, Rose had no turnovers in the half, with the offense going through him a lot. Playing like a senior, which is no small thing. Rose had 15 points at the break.
Both Justin Moore and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl hit Villanova’s bench with two fouls in the first five minutes. You saw the difference in flow without them.
When Jermaine Samuels gets going offensively, Villanova is usually in good shape. They’ve only lost once this season when Samuels scored at least 14 points, against Ohio State.