Villanova turned on the jets to close out the first half with a 44-31 edge, and never let off the gas. Locking down on the Saint Joseph’s Hawks, the Wildcats held their opponent to 24 points after the break to win 88-57 and move to 8-0 on the season and 2-0 in the Big 5. St. Joe’s fell to 3-4 with the loss.
A slow start was down to Villanvoa playing without their usual energy and focus. Coupled with the Hawks’ making a lot of jumpers early, the contest remained tight until late in the first half. A couple of quick TOs by Jay Wright turned the tide, and the ‘Cats stretched their lead to 13 heading into the intermission.
The second half was much more laid back, with Villanova continuing their scorching start to the season shooting the ball. They canned sixteen three-pointers (47.1%) to make this one a laugher.
The big story on the afternoon was senior Josh Hart. He posted a triple-double in the game -- the first by a Villanova player since 1986. Hart notched 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists bolstering a tremendous run in his last season on the Main Line. Fellow senior Kris Jenkins was also pouring on the scoring with a team-high 20 points on 7-of-14 shooting.
In total, six Wildcats scored in double-digits in the win, which was their fifth straight over their biggest rivals in the Big 5.
With UCLA knocking off Kentucky this afternoon, Villanova is well-placed to move up to the top spot in the polls this week. They reached the #1 spot in the AP Poll for the first time in team history last February.