Instant Replay: No. 2 Villanova 88, St. Joe's 57

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Instant Replay: No. 2 Villanova 88, St. Joe's 57


VILLANOVA, Pa. — Villanova showed no mercy Saturday against rival St. Joe’s.

The No. 2 Wildcats handed the Hawks their fourth straight loss, a 88-57 loss at The Pavilion. 

Both teams got off to sluggish starts, but Villanova was able to find its rhythm, ending the first half on a 20-4 run.  Seniors Kris Jenkins and Josh Hart accounted for 15 and 12 points, respectively, in the half. 

Hart recorded his first triple-double of the year with 16 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists. 

St. Joe’s dynamic backcourt of Shavar Newkirk and Lamarr Kimble — the team’s two leading scorers — did their best to keep the Hawks in it.

Newkirk nailed a contested three with 8:40 to go in the first half to give the Hawks a 23-22 lead before 'Nova pulled away. Kimble led the way for the Hawks with 15 points.

Villanova moves to 8-0 with the win, while St. Joe’s falls to 3-4 on the young season. 

Turning point
Just when it looked like St. Joe’s might be able to hang around with the reigning champions, the Wildcats pulled off a massive 20-4 run to end the half. During that span, 'Nova found its shot, shooting 8 of 11 to end the half. The Wildcats began to assert themselves on the other side of the floor, too, forcing six Hawks’ turnovers in the final six minutes to pull away. 

Senior dominance
With the rest of the team struggling in the early going, Hart and Jenkins kept the Wildcats afloat early, before Villanova went on its run. The duo finished with 27 of the Wildcats’ 44 first-half points. Jenkins finished with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. 

Inside the box score
• The Wildcats shot a lights-out 47 percent (16-34) from three. Jenkins led the way with four treys. 

• Freshman forward Charlie Brown kept the Hawks in the game early, scoring the team’s first six points. Brown finished with eight poijnts

• St. Joe’s hung around early thanks to some hot shooting (4 for 9) from deep in the first half. 

• With 11 Saturday, Newkirk fell short of a 20-plus point game for just the second time in seven games this year.

Villanova has won the last five games between the two schools, and leads the all-time series, 49-25. The Hawks’ last win in the series came in 2011, a 74-58 win at Hagan Arena. 

Up next
Villanova continues its Big Five tour with a matchup vs. La Salle at the Palestra Tuesday.

St. Joe’s has a week off before taking on Drexel on Dec. 11.

Penn State holds off Marquette to reach NIT semifinals

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Penn State holds off Marquette to reach NIT semifinals


MILWAUKEE -- Lamar Stevens tied his career high with 30 points, Tony Carr added 25 and Penn State beat Marquette 85-80 on Tuesday night to advance to the NIT semifinals.

The Nittany Lions (24-13) will face Mississippi State (25-11) at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 27. They advanced to the NIT semis for the first time since winning the 2009 tournament.

Stevens hit three crucial buckets in the final three minutes, including a dunk off an alley-oop pass from Josh Reaves for an eight-point lead with one minute left. The 6-foot-8 Stevens then maneuvered through a couple Marquette players to secure a rebound off Andrew Rowsey's missed 3 with 46 seconds left.

Carr went 5 of 8 from the foul line over the final 30 seconds to give Marquette another chance. Rowsey hit a 3 and a layup to get the Golden Eagles as close as 83-80 with six seconds left before the Golden Eagles ran out of time.

Shep Garner scored 19 points and set two Penn State records, including most 3s in a season (112). Garner's 73 career wins are the most in a four-year span since Penn State joined the Big Ten in 1992-93.

Rowsey, a senior, scored 29 points for Marquette (21-14).

The Golden Eagles had whittled a 14-point deficit early in the second half to 72-68 with 2:39 left on three foul shots by Rowsey. Penn State went nearly three minutes without a bucket and got sloppy with the ball and the sharpshooting Golden Eagles started hitting 3s to get back in the game.

Villanova, Penn with polar opposite NCAA Tournament draws

Villanova, Penn with polar opposite NCAA Tournament draws

No surprises on the Main Line and well, the Quakers have quite the hill to climb to advance.

Villanova on Sunday night was awarded the 1-seed in the East Region and will face the winner of the LIU Brooklyn/Radford game Thursday in Pittsburgh. Tip-off is scheduled for 6:50 p.m. on TNT.

The Wildcats have been a top-two seed since 2014 and it's the second straight year they're a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Villanova was the No. 1 overall seed in last year's tournament.

Penn was named the 16th seed in the Midwest Region and will face the No. 1-seeded Kansas Jayhawks on Thursday at 2 p.m. on TBS in Wichita, Kansas.

Steve Donahue has the Quakers back in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2007 in his third season as Penn's head coach.

The Quakers are 24-8 and this will be their 24th-ever appearance in the tournament.

'Nova survived a scare from Providence on Saturday night to win its second straight Big East title and its third in the past four years.

If the Wildcats beat LIU Brooklyn/Radford, they'll face the winner of the No. 8-seeded Virginia Tech and No. 9 seed Alabama. Purdue is the No. 2 seed in the East.

Also in the East are No. 3 Texas Tech and No. 4 Wichita State.