The Pirates trailed 37-28 at the half. In the second half of the game, they closed the gap to just two points, but the Wildcats went on a run with eight unanswered points, six of them coming on free throws, at about the 12-minute mark.
Fuquan Edwin led the team with 14 points, nine rebounds, four steals and three assists. Herb Pope, the team's leading scoring who was averaging 17 points per game, was held to just 10 points. He also had eight rebounds, one assist, three steals and three blocked shots.
The loss drops the Pirates to 4-3 in the Big East and 15-4 overall. It's their second straight loss, but only their third since Nov. 20.
The Pirates are off again until next Wednesday, Jan. 25, when they host Notre Dame. Villanova plays St. John's at Madison Square Garden on Saturday.
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