The Wildcats would never look back from there, dominating the Hawks on both ends of the court and spreading the love around, as eight players scored six or more points in Villanova’s dominant 74-46 win.
While the Hawks struggled with a young lineup, Villanova showed great maturity and depth, making 4-of-6 shots from beyond the arc to start the game, and extending their lead to 24-7.
“I think that maturity impacts rivalry games more than anything,” said Villanova Coach Jay Wright. “I think our maturity was big in both these [Big 5] games.”
Saint Joseph’s would put together a 7-0 run to pull within 32-20, but there again was Villanova’s experienced roster, refusing to get frazzled and continuing to hit shots.
The Wildcats would close the half strong, utilizing a 12-2 run of their own to head to the locker room up 44-24 over their rival.
Villanova would emerge from the locker room even stronger, holding the Hawks without a field goal for the first 8:55 of the second half. The Hawks would continue to struggle, shooting just 26.5 percent in the second half, as Villanova grew their lead to as much as 31.
“We had a good effort today. We played well,” Wright said. “I really thought our defense was outstanding.”
With the game in hand, the Wildcats would be able to give some minutes to their walk-ons, but not before spreading the wealth to their everyday players, as eight players scored six or more and three players finished with double-digit points in the 74-46 mauling of the Hawks.
“Throughout the season, our greatest asset is our depth,” Wright said.
While Wright’s team exuded experience in the win, Martelli’s squad showed its youth.
“They’re just not experienced guys,” Martelli said. “And to be honest, they reacted a little bit better today than they did at Gonzaga, but look at the numbers. It’s on us. We have to practice and work them, and do more with them tomorrow to get better. It’s not depth, its the experience.”
While inexperience plagues the Hawks, Martelli also recognizes the need for his players to continue to grow.
“It’s a numbers game. I don’t know any other way. It’s not analytics,” Martelli said. “If you turn the ball over 20 times and shoot 42 percent from the foul line. We have to get them back in there and work.”
By: Kyle Babcock
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