WASHINGTON (AP) Josh Hart scored 21 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers with 7 minutes left that put the game out of reach, as No. 2 Villanova pulled away to beat Georgetown 81-55 on Saturday to roll into the postseason with momentum.
The senior guard from nearby Silver Spring, Maryland, was ice cold for stretches but came up big when it mattered. But Hart finished 8 of 15 from the field with six rebounds, four assists and three steals to lead the Wildcats (28-3, 15-3 Big East) to their fifth consecutive victory against the Hoyas (14-17, 5-13) – tying the longest streak in the history of the rivalry.
Kris Jenkins scored 19 points and Jalen Brunson had 17 on a day Villanova struggled to make shots from the field and even the free throw line until a late surge pushed its lead above 20. Jenkins, from Marlboro, Maryland, and Hart continued to plague Georgetown as they have for much of their college careers.
The defending national champions at one point in the second half were shooting 34 percent, which would have been worse than their season-low 37.3 Jan. 4 in a loss at Butler. They finished at 46.3 percent.
Despite 21 points from Rodney Pryor, Georgetown wrapped up a disappointing regular season with 20 turnovers in its fifth consecutive loss.
Villanova: Has won two straight since losing at home to Butler on Feb. 22 and looks primed to make another long March run.
Georgetown: Embattled coach John Thompson III’s team will have the first back-to-back losing seasons since the 1970s unless it goes on a run in the Big East Tournament.
Georgetown: As the No. 9 seed in the Big East Tournament, faces No. 8 seed St. John’s on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
Villanova: Gets a bye as the top seed and faces the winner of Georgetown-St. John’s on Thursday afternoon.