Villanova jumped to a 9-0 lead with 16:18 remaining in the half on a JayVaughn Pinkston three. Pinkston would knock down two more shots from beyond the arc to put the Wildcats up 20-9, as the forward went 3-of-3 from three-point range in the half.
The Wildcats would finish the half shooting just 36.7 percent from the field, as Pinkston led the way with 9 points, all from beyond the arc. While the junior forward nearly matched his season total for three's in the first half alone, as he had gone just 5-of-24 from beyond the arc entering tonight's contest, he went just 3-of-8 from the field overall in the half.
Semaj Christon led the Musketeers in the half, tallying 10 points, while center Matt Stainbrook chipped in 6 points and 8 rebounds, as the Musketeers out-rebounded the Wildcats 22-16 in the half.
After Xavier pulled within three on back-to-back three-pointers by Justin Martin early in the second half, Villanova finally began to put some distance between themselves and the Musketeers.
With 11:58 remaining in the game Dylan Ennis would throw down a big dunk in transition to give the Wildcats their largest lead so far at 15, and Villanova would not look back, taking command on their way to a 81-58 win.
James Bell led all scorers, as he tallied 27 points for the Wildcats on 10-of-14 shooting, including 6-of-10 from beyond the arc.
The win was the 20th of the season for the Wildcats, as they improved to 20-2 overall and 8-1 in Big East play. Villanova will next face Seton Hall on Friday at the Pavilion.
By: Kyle Babcock
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