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.
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.
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.
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.