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Sunday, December 6, 2009
Nova will certainly be challenged tonight

By Dana O'Neil

The Villanova-Maryland matchup in D.C. tonight lost a little of its luster after the Terps were taken out by Cincinnati and Wisconsin. But as the season progresses, those are going down as losses to good teams, so it could be foolish to count out Maryland against the Wildcats. The Terps started the season in the Top 25 with good reason.

Meanwhile, Villanova hasn't played a legit road game this season and is still without the services of senior guard Reggie Redding (suspension) and Mouphtaou Yarou (illness). The Wildcats remain a fairly young team, with role players taking over as leaders and freshmen playing valuable minutes.

Antonio Pena, a career understudy, has been playing lights out, averaging 13.4 points and 10.3 rebounds, but Landon Milbourne, Jordan Williams and the athletic Cliff Tucker could give the Wildcats some trouble in the frontcourt.

How well Villanova defends will make all the difference. Jay Wright was pleased with the Cats' effort in their last game but that was against Drexel. No offense to the Dragons, but that isn't the same as slowing down a Maryland team that has scored or hovered near 80 points in five of its first seven games.