VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Freshman Josh Hart came off the bench to score 19 points and No. 8 Villanova stayed perfect with an 88-67 rout of Rider on Saturday.
One of 12 unbeaten teams remaining in Division I, the Wildcats (11-0) are off to their best start since the 1961-62 team won its first 12.
JayVaughn Pinkston added 14 points for Villanova, which shot 50 percent from the field in its final non-conference home game of the season.
Anthony Myles, Rider’s top scorer had 22 points. Jimmie Taylor added 15 points for Rider (5-5) and Daniel Stewart scored 13.
Villanova’s pressure rattled Rider as the Wildcats began to pull away in the second half.
With just under 15 minutes to go, Darrun Hilliard picked the pocket of Shawn Valentine in the backcourt and finished with a slam to give Villanova a 56-35 lead.
Hilliard finished with 13 points and has scored in double figures in all but one game this season.
The Wildcats extended their lead to 27 before emptying their bench with one minute left.
Villanova has outscored its opposition by an average of nearly 18 points including wins over No. 18 Kansas and No. 25 Iowa.
The Broncs managed to hang around for much of the first half, pulling within five with 4:41 left until halftime on a pair of free throws from Taylor.
But the Wildcats closed the half on a 16-7 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer from Tony Chennault in the final seconds, to take a comfortable 43-29 lead into the break.
Villanova owns a 24-1 record against Rider – with the Broncs’ only win coming in 1944 – and is 49-2 in its last 51 non-conference games at the Pavilion.
The Wildcats will put their unbeaten record on the line next Saturday when they face former Big East rival Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. Three days later, Villanova opens its Big East slate on the road against Butler.
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