Villanova Catches Fire From Three, Eliminates Georgetown in BE Tourney, 80-48


Graydon Paul

Justin Moore made four threes in the first half to help Villanova build a 21-point lead.

Owen Hewitt, Co-Sports Editor

If you took away every made two-pointer and free throw Villanova made in the first half, it would have still led by four at halftime.  

Needless to say, Villanova advancing to Thursday to play Creighton was written in sharpie on the Big East Tournament bracket by the break. 

It would be official shortly thereafter, with the sixth-seeded Wildcats taking home an 80-48 victory over the eleventh-seeded Hoyas. 

The ‘Cats held a 21-point lead at the intermission, leading, 41-20. Abysmal first-half offense from the Hoyas combined with a three-point barrage by the ‘Cats would see the game all but officially sealed by the time the final 20 started to tick away.  

Senior guard Justin Moore would lead the first-half charge, scoring 12 points on 4-6 shooting from beyond the arc. He would finish with 13, scoring a lone free throw in the second half. Four other ‘Cats would contribute from downtown in the first to give the team 24 total points from beyond the arc. 

Freshman forward Cam Whitmore picked up where Moore left off in the second, dropping in 12 points. He finished with a 19-point 10-rebound double-double. Three other Wildcats notched 10 points each on the night.  

“We all know what type of player Justin Moore is, and Cam Whitmore, we all know what they’re capable of doing,” head coach Kyle Neptune said. “I thought it was a great team effort, and I thought we came out and executed defensively.” 

The ‘Cats didn’t let up in the second half either, outscoring the Hoyas by 11 in the final frame. They made seven more threes to bring the total to 15 on the game, a season high. They also held the Hoyas to just 48 points for the game, the least the ‘Cats’ defense has allowed this season. 

“We all know we can shoot the ball, so we’re not really worried about makes and misses,” Moore said. “Tonight was one of those games where we just were hitting at a higher clip. We just focus on defense, and that’s what got us over the hump.” 

The ‘Cats advance to face Creighton in the tournament quarterfinals. The two teams split their season series. The ‘Cats hold the more recent win, as they overwhelmed the Bluejays at Wells Fargo Center in late February. 

“This time of the year, you just throw out what happened before,” Neptune said regarding the team’s regular season meetings against the Bluejays. “… We’ll go back to the hotel, we’ll rest up and we’ll start game planning.” 

The game is set for a 9:30 P.M. tip Thursday night. It will be televised on Fox Sports 1. 

“I think we’re still a work in progress,” Neptune said. “I think we can still get better. Our goal is to be the best team we can be by the end of the season. I think we can still reach that goal.”