Hot-shooting Villanova breezes past South Florida

Posted: February 09, 2013

Villanova continued its hot shooting for much of the game Saturday against South Florida, taking a 23-point lead at the half and coasting to a 68-40 victory over the Bulls in a Big East Conference game at the Pavilion.

The Wildcats (15-9, 6-5 Big East), who shot 68.8 percent Tuesday night in the second half of their 23-point win over DePaul, continued to shoot well in the first half Saturday. They sank 13 of 20 field-goal attempts for a 65 percent figure in the first half, and held a 39-16 lead at the break.

Villanova kept the heat on in the second half, extending its lead to as much as 34 points.

Sophomore guard Darrun Hilliard led the Wildcats with 17 points and JayVaughn Pinkston added 10. For the game, Villanova hit 52.4 percent of their field-goal attempts

The Bulls (10-13, 1-10), who lost their sixth straight game, were led by Javontae Hawkins with 13. They sank just 11 field goals and shot 23.4 percent. USF played without junior forward Victor Rudd, its leading scorer with a 10.7-point average, who sat out with a groin injury.

After the Bulls scored the game's first basket, the Wildcats went on a 12-0 run to establish early control. USF got as close as five points, 16-11, on a three-point basket by Jawanza Poland with 9:08 to play but Villanova outscored the visitors 23-5 the remainder of the half, holding them without a field goal.

Hilliard scored six of his nine first-half points during that extended run. He missed a shot on Villanova's last possession but Mouphtaou Yarou tipped it in just before the buzzer.

The Wildcats didn't let up in the second half, using an 8-0 run early to increase their advantage to 50-20, on Hilliard's three-pointer with 13:24 remaining. They built the margin to as high as 67-33, on Maurice Sutton's layup with 1:32 to play.

Contact Joe Juliano at or follow on Twitter @joejulesinq

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