Villanova Handles Hartford 87-53


David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Villanova Handles Hartford 87-53

Anders Pryor, Staff Writer

The Villanova Wildcats shattered the Hartford Hawks 87-53 in Jay Wright’s fourth game in Bubbleville. 


Justin Moore led the way for the Wildcats with 15 points, five assists, and three rebounds. Juniors Cole Swider and Brandon Slater both played pivotal roles in the victory, each finishing with 13 points. They combined for six threes amongst the two, Swider going 3-7 from deep and Slater going a perfect 3-3 from deep. 


From the jump, Villanova established a dominant three-point presence around the perimeter, thanks to consistent and thoughtful perimeter picks from Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Eric Dixon. In the first half, five different players racked up eight shots from behind the arc, with Moore nailing three in the first 20 minutes. By the end of the game, the Wildcats had 15 threes from six players, five of which had multiple three pointers made.


Hartford played aggressive but largely ineffective defense. While they demonstrated early intensity and speedy man-to-man, they were not able to halt the gears of Jay Wright’s methods. It was a slow but persistent gameplan, and the Hawks had no chance of stopping the ‘Cats once they got started. 


The biggest surprise story early on was Eric Dixon, who put himself on the map in Villanova’s game against Arizona State. Unlike last time, he was able to put up some points on the board using his big frame, and led the team in scoring at one point in the game. The forward finished with 14 points on 6-9 shooting, grabbed 10 rebounds, and dished out three assists. Going forward, he could be the key to creating a critical bench unit to build solidity for winning a National Title. 


The Wildcats will take on the 17th ranked University of Texas Longhorns this Sunday. It will be the ‘Cats second game against an AP Top 25 team this season, having defeated current 25th ranked Arizona State on Thanksgiving. The Longhorns have yet to face a ranked team this season, which may help to give the Wildcats an experience advantage.