Villanova took a commanding lead in the first half, and had to hold on for dear life in the end. When the smoke cleared, the Wildcats held on, beating Rutgers 77-71 in Big East Conference basketball Thursday night at the RAC.
Rutgers (13-17, 5-12) had a brutal first half, only scoring 19 points before turning on the jets in a losing effort. Four starters were in double-digits including Dane Miller who had 16 points and nine rebounds.
Jay Wright had to be losing his mind, watching his team take a 28-9 advantage early only to see the Scarlet Knights come within one point. However, a win is a win.
Villanova (12-17, 5-12) has to be encouraged though watching Maalik Wayns. The junior looked much better on Thursday than he did against Georgetown, scoring 18 points while notching eight assists.
JayVaughn Pinkston also had a solid game with 18 points and Mouphtaou Yarou had a double-double with 10 points and rebounds apiece.
The loss continues the Scarlet Knights recent run of futility. Rutgers has lost six of seven.
Rutgers will host Senior Night on Saturday against St. John's.