Villanova began the month of March with a convincing win on Saturday, beating Butler, 75-54, at the Wells Fargo Center.
Senior Phil Booth scored 28 points on 10-15 shooting as the Wildcats finally broke out of the shooting slump that has plagued them of late. After shooting under 40% as a team for the past four games, the ‘Cats shot 52% against the Bulldogs, including 41% from three-point range.
Senior Eric Paschall had 12 points on the day, and freshman Saddiq Bey scored 11 of his own. Jermaine Samuels, fresh off his career outing against Marquette, scored just 7 points in the contest, but did pick up 11 rebounds.
Although Villanova’s offensive numbers looked good at the game’s conclusion, it was by no means a perfect performance. For much of the first half, Villanova’s cold shooting seemed to be continuing, as Butler jumped out to a 19-10 lead almost 12 minutes into the contest. However, once Booth got on the scoreboard with his first triple less than a minute later, momentum swung in Villanova’s favor.
The Wildcats would close the half on a 23-11 run to take a three-point lead to the intermission.
In the second half, Villanova’s offense would only improve, as the team shot the ball at 54% over the game’s final 20 minutes. Butler, which was led Paul Jorgensen’s 11 points, was unable to keep the game close, shooting just 29% as a team in the second half and just 3-16 from deep.
Having played its final home game of the year, Villanova will finish its regular season schedule next Saturday when they visit Seton Hall. Tip-off is set for 12 p.m.