No. 7 Villanova avenges worst loss of the season in 69-53 win over No. 24 Georgetown

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PHILADELPHIA — Georgetown learned the hard way how sequels are almost never as good as the original.

The Hoyas' thrashing of Villanova in their first meeting was a distant memory for a team that has suddenly lost its way and is sure to fall out of the Top 25.

Darrun Hilliard scored 15 points and Josh Hart had 13 to help No. 7 Villanova avenge its worst loss of the season with a 69-53 win over No. 24 Georgetown on Saturday.

The Hoyas thumped the Wildcats 78-58 in the first game, on Jan. 19. In the second matchup of the longtime conference rivals, the Wildcats (21-2, 8-2) raced to a 17-point lead and never looked back in their fourth straight win. They've won eight of nine and have played up to their billing as the preseason Big East favorite.

"They looked like we did last game," Villanova coach Jay Wright said.

L.J. Peak scored 15 points for the Hoyas (15-8, 7-5). With losses this week to Providence and Villanova, the Hoyas have fallen out of conference title contention.

The Hoyas never got untracked offensively. They missed 7 of 8 3s in the half and received no meaningful production from leading scorers D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera (15.8 ppg) and Joshua Smith (11.9). Smith-Rivera was scoreless in the first half and Smith only scored two points on a combined 1-of-6 shooting. They finished just 4 of 11 from the floor for nine points.

"When you play a good defensive team like they are, you're not going to get one pass, two pass, open looks," Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. "You have to have the discipline to stay with what you're doing. Keep moving, keep executing and hopefully something will open up."

In the first game, Smith-Rivera scored 17 for the Hoyas, who pulled away early with a 17-0 run on the way to a 42-20 halftime lead. Georgetown shot 60 percent in the first half and 51 percent for the game.

"We were trying to be aggressive and we wanted to attack the basketball a lot more," Georgetown guard Jabril Trawick said. "We just didn't bring it like we're supposed to."

The Wildcats hit 12 of 24 3-pointers and led by as many as 24 in their latest romp against a conference rival.

With a packed house of 20,587 at the Wells Fargo Center adding to the big-game feel, the Wildcats quickly quashed any thoughts of a Georgetown sweep. Hilliard converted a four-point play early before the 3-point barrage started.

The Wildcats came in shooting 36 percent from 3-point range and were nailing them with the ease of fastbreak layups. Hilliard and Dylan Ennis hit consecutive 3s for a 12-7 lead that sparked the rout. Ennis hit one for a 10-point lead, Ryan Arcidiacono made it 27-13 with his and the Wildcats finished 7 of 13 in the half.

Wright said the Wildcats stuck with the game plan they had in the first game against the Hoyas. But the Wildcats were focused this time out to execute the Xs and Os that they failed to understand the first time. Wright said he stressed adhering to the scouting — not revenge — as the focus.

"We don't look at it as revenge," Hilliard said. "We just take it as our next game."

With a cold offense, the Hoyas never made a serious attempt at a second-half comeback. The Hoyas missed a whopping 16 of 17 3-point attempts.

Kris Jenkins kept the good times rolling for the Wildcats in the second half. He hit consecutive 3s for a 51-29 lead and made the Wildcats 10 of 18 from 3-point range.


Georgetown: Georgetown opened a stretch of four road games out of the next six. ... The Hoyas shot 30 percent from the floor. With all the misses, they did hold a 39-34 rebounding edge.

Villanova: Wright pulled forward Daniel Ochefu from the starting lineup for a minor academic issue. Ochefu sat out just a few minutes before he entered the game. Hart got the start.


The Big East could be decided in the next week when the Wildcats hit the road to play Providence and Butler. They can create some distance with wins against the next two teams in the standings. "I have no interest in what that says about our team," Wright said.


Georgetown: plays Tuesday at Seton Hall.

Villanova: plays Wednesday at Providence.

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