VILLANOVA, PA. - Villanova scored the first eight points of the game and never looked back as the 10th-ranked Wildcats handed Saint Joseph’s a 74-46 defeat in a Big 5 game at The Pavilion.
DeAndre’ Bembry was the lone Hawk in double figures with 13 points as SJU evened its record to 4-4 and 1-1 in the Big 5. Sophomore walk-on Brendan Casper hit new career-highs with nine points and nine rebounds in a personal best 20 minutes played.
Villanova (8-0; 2-0 Big 5) jumped out to a 17-2 lead in the first six minutes as the Hawks made just 1-of-5 from the field and committed three of their season-high 21 turnovers.
The Wildcats took a 31-11 lead at the 8:24 mark, but the Hawks started scoring, and went on a 9-1 run, with four points from Bembry and a basket by Casper. Casper picked up a steal and Bembry scored on a short jumper to cut the Hawks’ deficit to 32-20 at 5:19. Villanova, however, closed out the half on a 12-4 run to take a 44-24 lead at halftime.
Villanova made eight three-pointers in the first half, while the Hawks managed just 1-for-6 from behind the arc.
Villanova shot 42.3 percent from the field in the second half, and Saint Joseph’s hit just 9-of-34 from the field. The Wildcats took their biggest lead, 59-28, with 9:31 to play.
The Hawks host Loyola Maryland on Tuesday evening at Hagan Arena in a 7 p.m. start and the last game before a 10-day break for final exams.