Darryl Reynolds once again got the start in place of Daniel Ochefu, and he got the game going with `Nova's first two buckets. No lead was safe early on as both teams started a hot 4-5 from the field. Ryan Arcidiacono scored the next two baskets on a three and a steal in the press, but Desi Rodriguez hit two 3-pointers to make sure the Pirates stayed close.
The fast tempo proved too much for both teams after this, as they would both go 2 for their next 8 from the field. On one Pirate possession, Derrick Gordon could not reach on a pass and tumbled into Jay Wright, knocking him over. That got the crowd fired up. Both were okay.
Kris Jenkins would bring the Pirates within 1 as he was fouled on a three pointer, but missed the free throw. After that Josh Hart and Isaiah Whitehead would exchange buckets. Khadeem Carrington would not make his first field goal until the second half.
The Pirates would created a double digit distance thanks to stifling defense and success in the paint and transition, mostly from Angel Delgado and Ismael Sanogo.
Josh Hart began the second half scoring Villanova's first 5 points. `Nova later went on a 12-2 capped off by a layup by Mikal Bridges to cut the deficit to 1. Jenkins' three pointer tied the game at 50.
The teams exchanged 5-0 runs until Hart's three put the `Cats down 60-58. While only going 7-11 on their earlier free throw attempts, the Wildcats converted late in the bonus to tie the game at 64.
A costly turnover by SHU gave Villanova the ball with 1:47 left. Hero Jenkins hit a 3 to give Villanova the late lead.
Isaiah would go 1-2 at the line after a foul in the double bonus, giving the Wildcats the ball up two points with under 40 second to go. Isaiah Whitehead would put the Pirates back up with an old-fashioned three point play, and the lead would stay theirs.