Villanova led this one from start to finish, and the Bench Mob even saw some action, as the No. 6 Villanova Wildcats improved their bid for a 1-seed in the NCAA Tournament as they thrashed the Georgetown Hoyas 77-59 at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon. Darrun Hilliard led the 'Cats with 19 points and five assists, and JayVaughn Pinkston contributed 13 and seven rebounds.
3 quick baskets off of Georgetown turnovers made it a perfect start for 'Nova. Hilliard jumped out of the gates quick with a few free throws, an emphatic dunk, and a 3-pointer, all within the first three minutes. At the first media timeout, the Hoyas had only taken three shots, and had five turnovers and four fouls.
Josh Hart did a little bit of everything as well, slashing through the defense first for a layup and then recording a breakaway dunk on his way to six first-half points.
As is common with Villanova's defense, they were solid inside and created a lot of turnovers, but failed to mark the shooters on the outside. Georgetown made four of their first six shots from behind the arc, which gave them some early life even while committing eight fouls and turning the ball over eight times in the first 13:00.
After two minutes of trading misses, Kris Jenkins lit up and hit from deep to give Villanova a double-digit lead at 34-24, their largest of the game to that point. Georgetown went nearly six minutes without making a shot. In fact, their only point in that span (a 10-1 Wildcat run) came from a free throw by John Caprio, a former walk-on a la Nick McMahon.
James Bell then made 3-pointer while getting fouled, and completed the 4-point play. D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera would make a layup, but that would be basically it for the half for the Hoyas, who somehow shot 58 percent in the first half yet found themselves trailing by 13.
Thanks to 10 first-half turnovers, and 11 first-half fouls, Villanova was able to garner 9 steals and 13 points in transition. Markel Starks, Jabril Trawick, and Nate Lubick were forced to leave the game in foul trouble for the Hoyas, who only managed five free throws in the opening 20 minutes.
At the break, Aaron Bowen led Georgetown with nine points. Meanwhile, Bell led 'Nova with 11 halfway through, and Pinkston found himself on pace for a double-double with five points and five rebounds. Eight different Wildcats had made a field goal, and the one who didn't (Dylan Ennis) had two assists, a steal, and no turnovers.
Villanova took 29 first-half shots and 13 free throws, while the Hoyas only took 19 and 5, respectively.
The turnovers picked up right where they left off for Georgetown, with three more fumbles before the first media timeout of the second half. Hilliard was fouled making a jumpshot and made the ensuing free throw and the lead stretched to 49-33.
Then Ryan Arcidiacono, who was quiet in the first half with only two points, hit back-to-back 3-pointers from the left corner (his favorite spot, according to Kansas and Syracuse), giving Villanova a 20-point lead.
But then the Hoyas made it a game, grabbing their first offensive rebound, giving Lubick his first points on a dunk, and forcing a 10-second call in the backcourt when they brought out the press. That run brought the lead all the way down to 14.
But Starks drew his fourth foul, Daniel Ochefu made two consecutive free throws, and then Bowen turned it over, the 15th for Georgetown. Then Hilliard drew an and-1 foul. Then the Hoyas turned it over again. Then Hilliard coverted a layup again. Then Georgetown turned it over again. Then Pinkston made a layup.
Georgetown, who was somehow still shooting 57 percent from the field and 50 percent from deep, found themselves trailing by 20 with just under eight minutes to go. At that point, they had 17 field goals, 18 turnovers, and 19 fouls.
Kris Jenkins hit double-digits on a nice post move, a game after putting up nine against Xavier. Overall, five different players (Bell, Hilliard, Arch, Pinkston, Jenkins) scored 10+ points.