VILLANOVA, Pa. — Back at No. 1, Villanova looked every bit like the best team in the country.
The Wildcats — who earlier in the day regained their top spot in the rankings after a week at No. 3 — demolished Seton Hall, 76-46, in a Big East matchup Monday night at the Pavilion.
The win was the fourth straight for Villanova (18-1, 6-1), the 1,700th in program history, and the 47th straight at the Pavilion, setting an all-time record. The previous mark of 46 was established between January 2007 and 2011.
Leading by 13 at halftime, Villanova put its foot on the gas to start the second half, jumping out to a 53-26 advantage on a Kris Jenkins three-pointer followed by a baseline slam from Donte DiVincenzo.
The hot-shooting Wildcats continued to pour it on from there, with Jenkins hitting a couple of more tough threes to put Villanova up by a whopping 65-31 margin with 10:33 left.
Seton Hall (12-6, 2-4) closed a three-game road trip with losses in all three games.
Big men on campus
Jenkins led the way with 16 points on 4-for-6 shooting from behind the arc. He joined Jalen Brunson (13 points), Josh Hart (11 points), Eric Paschall (10 points) and DiVincenzo (10 points) in double figures.
All seven of the players in head coach Jay Wright’s seven-man rotation finished with at least eight points as Darryl Reynolds had eight points and nine rebounds and Mikal Bridges had eight points and seven rebounds.
Desi Rodriguez was the only Seton Hall player to hit double figures with 15 points.
By the numbers
• Villanova shot 47.4 percent from the field and 46.2 percent (12 for 26) from three-point range, while Seton Hall shot 29.1 and 25 percent.
• The Wildcats had nine steals and scored 27 points off 16 Seton Hall turnovers.
• Villanova only missed one of its 11 free throw attempts.
Seton Hall led 5-4 before Villanova went on a 13-0 run to take control, capped by a fantastic one-handed putback slam from Reynolds.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 25-7 as Seton Hall struggled to make anything. Consecutive threes from Rodriguez gave the Pirates a glimmer of life late in the first half, but the Wildcats still took a comfortable 36-23 lead into halftime.
The Pirates have more victories over Villanova than any Big East team since the new version of the league was launched in 2013, beating the Wildcats three times. One of those wins was in last year’s Big East Tournament title game at Madison Square Garden, Villanova’s final loss in 2015-16 before its magical run to the national title.
Seton Hall has had far less success at the Pavilion, however, with their last win there coming all the way back in 1994.
Simmons in the house
Sixers rookie Ben Simmons, the No. 1 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, was on hand to see the No. 1 team in the country. He sat courtside and took photos with fans at halftime.
Villanova returns to action Saturday afternoon vs. Providence at the Wells Fargo Center.
Seton Hall goes home to welcome St. John’s on Sunday.