Scottie Reynolds has Villanova in position to post the best start in school history.
Reynolds and the third-ranked Wildcats can accomplish that feat and notch their 10th consecutive win Wednesday night when they host Notre Dame at the Wachovia Center.Villanova (18-1, 7-0 Big East) has matched the 18-1 start by the 1950-51 squad that lost its next three games. The Wildcats last won 10 straight in an 11-game run Jan. 17-Feb. 23, 2006.That win streak marked the last time Villanova was ranked higher, reaching No. 2. The Wildcats moved up a spot Monday after starting a stretch of four straight against unranked opponents with road wins over Rutgers and St. John's last week.Reynolds was the catalyst to Saturday's 81-71 win over the Red Storm. He scored six of his 19 points during a 9-2 run that pulled Villanova within one point at the break before sparking another key surge in the second half."He just sets the tone for the whole team on how we want to play," coach Jay Wright said. "We want to play for each other and he does it every night. It is hard to do when you are the best player, and he is maybe one of the best we have ever had at that."Reynolds is averaging a team-high 18.7 points, and has upped that figure to 21.4 on 58.7 percent shooting in Big East play. The senior guard averaged 16.6 points on 42.1 percent shooting in his first three seasons in conference play.Reynolds needs 24 points to reach 2,000 in his career, but cares more about Villanova being off to its first 7-0 start in Big East play."I think that is a great thing about this team -- (we do) not get outside of ourselves," Reynolds said. "(We) keep playing the way we know how to play and keep doing what we know how to do."Reynolds is averaging 20.5 points in four career games against Notre Dame (15-5, 4-3), helping Villanova split those contests. The Wildcats won 77-60 on the road in last season's lone meeting as Reynolds scored 23."They're a great team, probably one of the top in the country," said Notre Dame star Luke Harangody about Villanova. "I couldn't tell you the last time they lost. We just have to go in there with this confidence."Harangody continues to lead the conference in scoring with a career-high 24.7 points per game for the Fighting Irish, who avoided a third straight loss with an 87-77 home victory over DePaul on Saturday. Tim Abromaitis scored a team-high 30 and Harangody added 24.Notre Dame is 1-2 against teams in the top 10 this season, losing 84-71 to then-No. 5 Syracuse on Jan. 18 in its last such matchup."We played Syracuse when they were the hottest team in the league, and now we play Villanova and they're the hottest team in the league," coach Mike Brey said. "That's a great opportunity for us as a team."This is Villanova's second game at the Wachovia Center this season. The Wildcats beat then-No. 11 Georgetown 82-77 on Jan. 17 for their 16th win in their last 24 at the arena.