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Villanova fends off Georgetown rally to win 75-64

The Hoyas put a scare into ‘Nova, but Josh Hart happened.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova saw a 17-point lead dwindle down to 2 with just a few minutes left, but Josh Hart was able to push the team to victory in a 75-64 win.

Hart started the game fast with a three pointer just nine seconds in, followed by a double dribble by Georgetown. But the Hoyas went on an 8-2 run over the next five minutes.

It was all Rodney Pryor early in the game, scoring 7 of the team’s first 12 points on 3-5 shooting. Three point shooting was not a factor, however; the schools started a combined 2-12.

But then the game went in the `Cats’ favor. They went on a 10-0 run capped off by a Hart three off a funny bounce on the rim.

The Hoyas gave themselves second chances with 4 offensive rebounds in the first 11 minutes, but their five turnovers in that time kept them from establishing any true distance from Villanova.

Soon `Nova had a 25-15 lead going into the U8 TV timeout, with Hart finding Eric Paschall on a dish and dunk. Villanova was hot from within the arc shooting 8-9, while the Hoyas shot 35.7% from all over the floor.

Around the U4 TV timeout thing started to fall apart for the Hoyas. The `Cats used great ball movement to eventually find Mikal Bridges for a quick-release three pointer. They had 11 assists on their first 15 field goals. Villanova had G’Town turned the ball over on the their next possession. Later Hart scored his SEVENTEENTH POINT of the game on a three, followed by another by Kris Jenkins. After starting 2-10 from three, the Wildcats hit four straight.

Villanova took a 43-28 lead into the half. The `Cats shot 63% from the floor, 42.9% from beyond the arc, and hit all three free throws. They forced the Hoyas into comitting either turnovers. Georgetown outrebounded the Wildcats 14-11 including seven offensive rebounds.

Pryor’s 9 points and 6 rebounds were a big reason why the Hoyas were not completely out of the game at that point. Bradley Hayes had 6 points on 3-4 shooting. The rest of the team shot just 33% from the floor.

The first points of the half for Villanova were spectacular: an alley-oop from Jenkins to Bridges from the sidelines.

Villanova grabbed nine rebounds within the first five minutes of the half, but missed their first four shots from beyond the arc. Again G’Town didn’t help their own cause, comitting five fouls in less than seven minutes.

A Donte DiVincenzo transition layup put the Wildcats up by 17 before the Hoyas went on a 7-0 run to pull to within 10. Villanova pushed back, but a Pryor jumper made it 58-51 with 6:05 left.

It did not end there. Another 7-0 run ending with a short range jumper by Pryor cut the `Nova lead to 60-58. The Wildcats were 0-8 from three in the second half. Hart, Jenkins and Brunson had not scored in the half up to this point.

But Brunson and Hart found a way to dive over the finish line. Jalen his two free throws to extend the lead to four, followed by a Hart three pointer and later a layup. Villanova would go up by 10 and keep the lead from there.

Villanova’s next game is Saturday, February 11th at 2:30pm when they travel to take on the Xavier Musketeers. The game will air on FOX.