No. 23 Villanova holds off Saint Joseph's surge for Big 5 win

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No. 23 Villanova holds off Saint Joseph's surge for Big 5 win

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Villanova nearly came undone completing an exhausting stretch of three games in six days against regional rivals.

Instead, the Wildcats found a final burst of energy, and that spoiled a frantic rally by their Main Line neighbors.

Saddiq Bey scored 22 points, Collin Gillespie had 20 and No. 23 Villanova held off a second-half comeback from Saint Joseph's to win 78-66 Saturday.

Villanova (7-2) led 41-25 at halftime, but Saint Joseph's Ryan Daly scored 22 of his 32 points after halftime to get the Hawks within 65-62 with 4:03 left. The Wildcats responded with a 13-4 run to end it.

"This will be good for us," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We've gone through a really tough stretch here, and we really haven't had a chance to practice. Now, we'll get a gap where we can work on some things. And it's always good when you can work on it after a win."

Justin Moore added 14 points and Jermaine Samuels had 12 for Villanova. The Wildcats have won 28 of 29 against Big 5 opponents since 2012.

The Hawks have lost seven straight overall and eight consecutive against Villanova since 2011. Daly was the only Saint Joseph's player with more than eight points.

"I'd much rather not had the 32 points if we ended up winning the game," Daly said. "That was the most important thing, and it didn't happen."

Saint Joseph's got within three on two occasions in the second half, including after Daly's two free throws with 4:08 left.

The Wildcats pulled away thanks to 8-for-8 shooting from the foul line in the last 2:11.

"We had a lot of tough games like this last year that helped us out," Bey said. "These games help you mature."

Big picture

Villanova: After a 2-0 week and winning three straight over Big 5 opponents, Villanova will likely remain in the AP Top 25 somewhere around their current ranking. The team has two games - Saturday against Delaware in Newark, a Dec. 21 home game against Kansas - before starting Big East play on Dec. 30 against Xavier.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks - in their first season under coach Billy Lange - showed some signs of life despite poor shooting.

"There are no such things as moral victories," Lange said. "However, I've kept a notebook that asks if we played hard that I fill out when I get into my car or on the bus after a game. And clearly, we did that today against a national championship program."

Up next

Villanova: The Wildcats are off until next Saturday when they play Delaware in the Never Forget Tribute at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.

Saint Joseph's: The Hawks travel to Temple on Tuesday night.

Saint Joseph's can't slow down Justin Jaworski, Lafayette

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Saint Joseph's can't slow down Justin Jaworski, Lafayette

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Justin Jaworski scored a career-high 31 points and Lafayette defeated Saint Joseph’s 94-71 Tuesday night, continuing its best start in four seasons.

Jaworski was the first 30-point scorer for the Leopards since the 2017-18 season. He was 10-for-17 from the field, making 5 of 10 3-pointers and making all six of his free throws. He also dished three assists.

The last 30-point scorer for Lafayette was Matt Klinewski, going off for 30 against Saint Peter’s Nov. 26, 2017.

Myles Cherry added 15 points on 6-for-7 shooting, and Lukas Jarrett scored 13 for Lafayette, which was coming off a nine-day holiday break.

The Leopards (5-2) have won three straight and are off to their best start since the 2014-15 season opened 7-2.

Lafayette had 20 assists on 34 baskets, shot 55% for the game (34-for-62) and made 14 of 28 3-pointers.

Ryan Daly led Saint Joseph’s (2-7) with 25 points, six rebounds and five assists. Cameron Brown added a career-high 13 points, Lorenzo Edwards 12.

The Hawks have dropped their last six.

Ryan Daly scores 30 and St. Joe's holds off UConn on the road

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Ryan Daly scores 30 and St. Joe's holds off UConn on the road

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STORRS, Conn. — Ryan Daly scored 30 points as Saint Joseph’s held off UConn 96-87 on Wednesday night.

Rahim Moore added 22 points and Myles Douglas had 18 for the Hawks (2-1), who led by as many as 27-points in the first half and never trailed.

Christian Vital had 26 points for UConn (1-1) and Alterique Gilbert added 22 for the Huskies, who cut the deficit to three points in the second half before running out of gas.

The Hawks opened the game with a 14-0 run. While UConn missed its first nine shots, St. Joe’s hit five of its first seven, including three of four from 3-point range.

Gilbert paused the bleeding for a moment with UConn’s first basket, a driving layup that came more than four minutes into the game.

But a 3-pointer by Daly pushed St. Joe’s lead over 20-points at 34-12 midway through the first half and the Hawks extended that to 46-19. Daly had 21 points by halftime, hitting five of his first seven shots from 3-point range.

It was 54-38 at the break and 69-48 with 12 ½ minutes left.

UConn went to a pressing defense and quickly cut into that deficit, outscoring the Hawks 21-4 over the next four minutes. The run was capped by a driving layup from Vital that made it 73-69.

The Huskies got as close as 79-76 after two free throws from Vital. But Daly hit a 3-pointer on the other end and St. Joe’s outscored UConn 17-11 down the stretch.

Big picture 

UConn is 6-3 all-time against St. Joe’s. This was the first meeting between the two schools since the first round of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. UConn won that game 89-81 in overtime, beginning their run to a fourth national title.

Saint Joseph’s made 13 of its 33 shots from 3-points range, but only 3 of 12 in the second half. The Hawks have put up 101 3-pointers in three games.

Up next 

St. Joseph’s continues its three-game road swing with a trip to Loyola Chicago

It doesn’t get any easier for UConn, which wraps up its opening three-game campus homestand on Sunday with a game against No. 15 Florida.