PHILADELPHIA — Less than 72 hours after a humbling loss to one team from Ohio, Villanova used two of its young standouts to win against another squad from the Buckeye State.
Saddiq Bey scored 19 points and Justin Moore added 18 to lead No. 10 Villanova past Ohio 78-54 on Saturday.
The win came after a 76-51 road loss to No. 16 Ohio State on Wednesday night. Villanova fell behind the Buckeyes early and never recovered.
“In that game, we kind of backed down,” Moore said. “We learned that you have to come out and you have to keep fighting. That’s what Villanova does and that’s what we were able to do today.”
After a sluggish start Saturday, Villanova (2-1) broke the game open with a 27-4 run in the final 6:36 of the half, turning a one-point deficit into a 43-21 lead.
Bey and Moore combined for 9-for-12 shooting and 4 of 6 from beyond the 3-point line for 26 points in that run. The Wildcats finished 14 of 31 from long range.
“I thought we had just two or three bad three-point attempts today,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I think the numbers are a reflection of Justin and Saddiq moving the ball and getting good shot opportunities.”
Ohio shot 3 of 20 from behind the arc, with its first conversion from Ben Vander Plas three minutes into the second half after a 0-for-10 start. The Bobcats committed 16 turnovers.
Vander Plas led the Bobcats (3-1) with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jason Preston added 16 points and eight assists.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 11 points and 11 rebounds and Colin Gillespie scored 10 points for Villanova.
“I told our guys that with the exception of that seven-minute stretch at the end of the first half, we played pretty even with them” Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. “Against a team like (Villanova), the margin for error is pretty small. It was a good teaching moment for our guys.”
Villanova: After losing by 25 at Ohio State on Wednesday night in the Gavitt Games, Villanova is likely to take a slight dip in the next AP rankings.
Ohio: After starting the season 3-0 with road wins against St. Bonaventure and Iona, the Bobcats had trouble dealing with Villanova’s forwards.