Wildcats Conquer Hinkle Demons in Win against Butler


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Wildcats Conquer Hinkle Demons in Win against Butler

Billy Vinci

The Villanova Wildcats defeated the Butler Bulldogs 80-72 Tuesday night. Both fifth year captains took over for the Wildcats and led them to their first win at Hinkle Fieldhouse since 2016. Eric Paschall led the way by totaling 25 points and five rebounds. Phil Booth added 17 points, five assists and four rebounds.  

The game started off like a typical Villanova vs. Butler matchup. Both teams exchanged baskets and neither side was able to create any space. With seven minutes left in the first half, a Joe Cremo three extended Villanova’s lead to 29-25 and started a run led by Booth that saw the lead expand to 36-28. Butler sophomore Aaron Thompson cut the Wildcats advantage to one, but a Booth three gave Villanova a 41-37 lead into the half. 

Nate Fowler gave Butler a 44-43 lead a few minutes into the second half, but that was the last time Villanova would trail the rest of the way. Saddiq Bey answered with a three, giving the Wildcats the lead for good. 

After Bey’s triple, Collin Gillespie hit three in a row from behind the arc to expand the lead to 55-44, a deficit that would prove to be too much for Butler to make up. 

Gillespie finished with 11 points and Bey added in 10 points and seven rebounds. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree was the fifth Wildcat to finish in double digits, as he posted 10 points and eight rebounds. 

Villanova shot 12-26 (46.2%) from three while holding the Bulldogs to just 37.9%. 

The win improves Villanova to 15-4 on the season and 6-0 in the Big East after a difficult start to the season. The Wildcats next contest will be against Seton Hall on Sunday at Wells Fargo Center at 2:30 p.m.