VILLANOVA, PA. 12/14/2014 – Paced by guards Josh Hart and Darrun Hilliard who scored 20 points each the #7 Villanova Wildcats extended their winning streak to ten games defeating the Temple Owls 85 – 62 at the Pavilion. Villanova Coach Jay Wright was happy to see some of the players begin to score as this was the first game this season where the team had a player score 20 points.
“It is nice when a couple of guys get it going,” Wright said. “Our team did a nice job when Josh (Hart) got it going, to find him. That was good for us to experience that as a team. We need to do that for league play.”
It was a matter of making shots. The Wildcats took control in the first half going out to a 39 – 26 halftime lead. In the half each team took 25 shots. Villanova made 14 of theirs compared to only 7 for the Owls. For the game the Blue and White made 27 of 51 from the field (52.9%) while the Cherry and White were limited to 18 of 52 (34.6%). Each team took 15 from beyond the arc with The Wildcats holding a 9 – 4 advantage in made threes. In the second half the Wildcats extended the lead to as many as 24 points on two occasions.
“Their unselfishness is very good,” Temple Coach Fran Dunphy said about what makes the Villanova offense effective. “They shot it great from the three-point line. They were very efficient. When we left them open they were knocking it down. They play together and it looks like they don’t care who scores.”
Hart was exceptionally deadly from the field making 6 of his 7 field goal attempts and was perfect on 3 three-pointers. He was also a perfect 5 for 5 form the foul line. Hart added 7 rebounds and 3 assists. Hilliard was also 6 for 7 from the floor. He converted 3 of 4 three’s and made 5 of 7 form the charity stripe.
“The shots happened to fall when my teammates found me open,” said Hart. “It was a good day overall, I did get lucky on some shots but that just happens sometimes.”
Guard Quenton DeCosey scored a team-high 18 points for Temple while fellow guard Will Cummings added 14 points and 4 assists.
“We didn’t play hard enough and that was the moral of the story,” said Cummings. “On both ends of the court.”
Villanova extended their Big Five winning streak to 9 games. The Wildcats are 3 – 0 in city series play and will win the title by defeating Penn. The point differential this season is a plus 65. Temple (6 – 4 overall) is 2 – 2 in city games.
“I think things are cyclical,” Wright reasoned about Villanova’s recent Big Five success. “We have older guys and other teams are younger. I think that makes a big difference in college basketball, and that’s what you’ve seen here these past couple of years.”
Each team will prepare for a high-profile opponent, and both games at the Wells Fargo Center. Villanova faces Syracuse on Saturday. Temple faces #1o Kansas on Monday, December 22 after visiting Delaware on Thursday.
Written By: Glenn Papazian