Saturday, December 06, 2014

Villanova blows doors off SJU in 'Holy War'

Villanova, PA -- Josh Hart scored 12 points with eight rebounds as 10th-ranked Villanova cruised to a 74-46 win over Saint Joseph's on Saturday in the 2014 edition of the Holy War from the Main Line.

Darrun Hilliard and Phil Booth each had 11 points for the Wildcats (8-0), who never trailed en route to extending their Big 5 winning streak to eight games.

'Nova was coming off an easy 84-70 win over La Salle on Wednesday night in the back end of a City Series doubleheader and didn't need to work as hard to take down their rivals in front of a friendly crowd. 

Ten Villanova players scored at least two points as head coach Jay Wright went deep into his bench, which nearly outscored the Hawks by itself. The Wildcats' reserves combined to contribute 40 points.

"I know the numbers don't show it, but they're a very good rebounding team. In the first half, I thought we did a really good job on the defensive glass, where they can get a lot of buckets on their offensive rebounding," said Wright. "Over time, we've got a lot of (veteran) guys and they've got a lot of younger guys and I thought that was the biggest factor."

DeAndre' Bembry led Saint Joseph's (4-4) with 13 points and Chris Wilson and Brendan Casper scored nine apiece.

The Wildcats opened the game on an 8-0 run and led 17-2 six minutes in after hitting three straight 3-pointers. Using their three-quarter court trap, forced the Hawks to commit 13 turnovers in the opening 20 minutes and the Wildcats held a 16-6 edge in points off of miscues.

Hilliard knocked down a trey to make it 31-11 with 8:24 remaining, and Villanova carried a 44-24 lead into halftime.

The Hawks shot 26.5 percent in the second half and fell behind by as many as 31. Villanova used the first nine minutes of the second half to officially put things out of reach. The hosts held the Hawks to two free throws in that stretch, and JayVaughn Pinkston's slam made it 59-28 with just under 10 minutes remaining in the period.

 "I think that what they do has been so well-drilled that it's a pleasure to watch," said SJU head coach Phil Martelli. "It's not easy to coach against but it is a pleasure to watch. I'm really in awe of how they are playing the game, how unselfishly they play the game."

Notes: Saint Joseph's has lost five straight at The Pavilion and 11 of 15 overall against their suburban rivals since the start of the 2000-01 season ... Villanova scored 24 points off 21 Hawks turnovers ... The Wildcats made 8-of-15 3-pointers in the first half ... SJU hasn't beaten 'Nova since a 74-58 shocker at Hagan Arena on Dec. 17, 2011 and hasn't beaten them on Lancaster Avenue since a 74-67 result on Feb. 2, 2004, in the midst of the Hawks' run to the Elite Eight. 

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