Eric Paschall had 14 points and nine rebounds, and No. 21 Villanova beat Saint Joseph’s 70-58 on Saturday for its 25th straight Big 5 victory.
Joe Cremo and Phil Booth scored 12 points apiece as the Wildcats (8-2) continued their dominance of the long-standing city series with Philadelphia rivals Saint Joseph’s, Penn, La Salle and Temple. Jermaine Samuels added 11 points.
Lamarr Kimble led Saint Joseph’s with 22 points. The Hawks were missing Charlie Brown, the top scorer in the Atlantic 10. He sprained his ankle in a win at Princeton on Wednesday.
Trailing 62-40 midway through the second half, the Hawks went on a 16-0 run to make things interesting. But a Booth 3-pointer and a Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree three-point play with 1:05 remaining helped seal Villanova’s sixth straight win.
Fresh off come-from-behind Big 5 victories over La Salle and Temple, Villanova began to pull away from Saint Joseph’s late in the first half, taking a 38-28 lead into halftime on the strength of four 3-pointers from Cremo and two from Paschall, including one in the final minute.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 48-31 three minutes into the second half after back-to-back buckets from freshman Cole Swider capped a 10-0 run. Swider scored all eight of his points in the second half.
The Wildcats, whose last loss in the city series came on Dec. 5, 2012, to Temple, can complete their sixth straight perfect 4-0 Big 5 season vs. Penn on Tuesday at the Palestra.
Saint Joseph’s: Since last beating Villanova on Dec. 17, 2011, the Hawks have lost to their nearby rivals by an average of nearly 23 points over their last seven meetings.
Villanova: The Wildcats are establishing more of a home-court advantage, winning two straight at the refurbished Finneran Pavilion after back-to-back losses there to Michigan and Furman last month.
After a two-week layoff for finals, St. Joe’s hosts Loyola of Chicago at the Palestra on Dec. 22.
Villanova closes out Big 5 play at Penn on Tuesday before a showdown at Kansas next Saturday.