The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Saint Joseph’s Hawks 88-68 in their only Big Five contest currently scheduled in the 2020-21 campaign, improving to 7-1 on the season.
Villanova was led by sophomore forward Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who was playing in a protective mask due to a broken nose he suffered in Wednesday’s victory over Butler. The big man from Kansas City finished with 25 points, seven rebounds, and six assists in an all-around performance. The big man went 8-14 from the field and 2-4 from deep, while most interestingly he went 7-10 from the free throw line.
Redshirt junior Caleb Daniels also played a big part in the victory, scoring 19 points on 7-13 shooting, including going 3-5 from deep, while grabbing five rebounds.
Sophomore guard Justin Moore and senior wing Jermaine Samuels were the other two Wildcats in double figures in the victory. Moore scored 18 points, grabbed six rebounds, and accumulated seven assists. Samuels scored 12 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
For Saint Joseph's, freshman Jordan Hall and redshirt junior Taylor Funk led the way with 17 points each.
As a team, the Wildcats went 9-25 (36%) from three point range, while the Hawks went 10-32 (31%) from behind the arc.
The Wildcats started off slow in the first half, as Saint Joe’s battled defensively and made enough three pointers to keep the game close in its first 20 minutes. The Hawks made six first half threes on 17 attempts, good for 35.3%. They were led early on by Funk, who scored nine points and went 3-5 from deep in the first half.
Villanova went into the half with a 41-33 advantage. The Wildcats were able to extend their lead to double digits right before the half, but a Ryan Daly and-one cut the halftime lead to just eight.
The Hawks kept the Wildcats lead to around 10 for the first eight minutes of the second half, but Villanova finally started to pull away in the latter portion of the game. By the time the under eight media timeout arrived, the Wildcats held a 20 point lead at 72-52.
The Wildcats continued to extend their lead and were able to finish the victory in relative comfort, wrapping up their non-conference schedule for the time being. In the 2020-21 season no schedule is final, but at the moment the only games remaining on the Villanova schedule are Big East contests.
Villanova will return to action Wednesday at 7 PM when they travel to Milwaukee to take on Marquette at the Fiserv Forum.