With a 74-66 win at the Finneran Pavilion on Senior Night, No. 10 Villanova handed the rival Georgetown Hoyas their 16th-straight loss.
While back-and-forth at first, Villanova eventually pulled away in the second half behind a resurgence from guard Justin Moore.
With less than five minutes to play, Moore soared high for a block on Georgetown freshman Aminu Mohammed. He then turned around and completed a tough three-point play to make it 66-57 in Villanova’s favor with 4:19 left to play. The Wildcats were then able to hold on for the wire-to-wire victory.
Despite a slow start, Moore led the way for the ‘Cats, scoring 19 points and grabbing six rebounds. He went 1-for-9 from the field in the first half but kept the same mindset the whole game.
“I just stayed aggressive,” Moore said. “Nothing changed. Some of my looks in the first half didn’t go in but I stayed aggressive and my teammates found me in the right spots.”
Brandon Slater also had a solid showing on his Senior Night, adding 11 points and two steals. He stated what it all meant to him after the game.
“It’s been a great honor to be a Villanova Wildcat for four years,” said Slater. “It’s a big accomplishment for me. And it’s a big accomplishment for my family.”
However, the Senior Night festivities did not stop the Hoyas from giving Villanova all they could. Georgetown’s defense, which has been poor all season, forced 15 turnovers and hounded Villanova with a full-court press in the second half.
This pesky press prevented ‘Nova from taking over offensively and caused multiple misguided inbound passes. And although the Wildcats never trailed, the game was mostly even, as ‘Nova shot 24-of-55 and Georgetown shot a near-identical 24-of-56.
Villanova head coach Jay Wright praised the Hoyas’ effort but was not surprised by their intensity.
“They want to play really hard. They’re tenacious and they’re physical,” said Wright. “Much respect to them. They play harder for Patrick [Ewing]. They run their stuff offensively and played small and got us in a lot of mismatches. And defensively they’re just tough. We struggled against them but we gutted it out.”
Georgetown guard Donald Carey was one of the scorers making things difficult for Villanova, as he had 24 points and shot 69% for the game. Yet, his effort was not enough for the Hoyas, who are still without a win in 2022.
While Georgetown continues to trend down, No. 10 Villanova has won nine of its last 10 games, improving to 21-6 overall and 14-3 in the Big East with the win.
Up next for the ‘Cats is a critical away game against the No. 24 UConn Huskies on Tuesday, Feb. 22. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. ET. Villanova will need this game and a win against No. 8 Providence at home for a chance at the Big East Regular Season Championship.