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Villanova escapes Georgetown with regular season finale win, 70-69

After squandering a strong start, the Wildcats are able to battle back and win in the closing seconds to defeat Georgetown.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

A win’s a win, right?

After a strong start to the game, the Villanova Wildcats squandered it and found themselves in a closely-contested second half with the Georgetown Hoyas.

‘Nova fell behind, but battled through a late Georgetown run, before Jermaine Samuels delivered the go-ahead and-one with 5.6 seconds remaining and the WIldcats hung on for a 70-69 victory.

After Terrell Allen sank a three-pointer to put the Hoyas up by four, with 1:01 left in the game, the Wildcats stood tall defensively, never giving up another Georgetown score.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl answered back with a driving layup, trimming the lead down to two points. On the following Hoya possession, he was able to steal the ball, leading to the game-winning series for the ‘Cats.

Samuels was fouled in an attempt to attack the basket. His shot was blocked by Qudus Wahab, but it was ruled and confirmed as a goaltend after further review. The Villanova junior drained the free throw to convert the and-one for the lead.

Georgetown went back to Allen to attempt the buzzer-beating shot. He leaned into a wall of Wildcat defenders, and his shot fell short. Villanova was able to hang on for the win.

It was a dramatic finish for a game that didn’t look it was going to be close at first. The Wildcats raced out to 14-0 start from opening tip. It was a strong start that blossomed into a 26-9 run to begin the game, with the Wildcats’ early 17-point lead being the highest of the game.

Villanova had found its stride from long range, with all five members of the Wildcat starting five burying three-pointers to fuel that early lead.

Georgetown settled down with a 12-2 run to inch closer to the ‘Cats, but Villanova still had a 39-30 lead at the half.

Just as Villanova started out the game strong, Georgetown entered the second half hot. The Hoyas went on a quick 11-0 run to tie the game and briefly take the lead with a Wahab score. From there, it was a back-and-forth game, with the injury-plagued Hoyas giving the ‘Cats their best effort.

All five of Villanova’s starting lineup finished in double figures. Saddiq Bey led the way with 18 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Robinson-Earl and Samuels finished with 13 points apiece. Justin Moore finished with 11 points and nine rebounds. Meanwhile, Collin Gillespie added 11 points, four boards, and five assists.

As for Georgetown, Jamorko Pickett had 20 points and five boards, before fouling out. Allen finished with 17 points. Jagan Mosely supplied 13 points and eight rebounds.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 24-7 overall, and finish Big East play with a 13-5 mark. They have also clinched the No. 2 seed in the upcoming Big East Tournament.