WASHINGTON — The good news for Villanova on Saturday — aside from closing the regular season with a 70-69 win over Georgetown — was that the Wildcats once again showed the ability to get out in transition, score in bunches, and build a substantial lead.

The bad news was that holding onto that lead was once again an issue. Villanova scored the first 14 points of the game against the Hoyas, held a nine-point lead at the half, and still found themselves in the pitched battle at the end that could have gone either way.

“We have a young group that doesn’t get that yet. They don’t get playing every possession,” coach Jay Wright said. “If the game’s close, you don’t have any choice, you get it. But when we have a lead we’ve not been good at that all year.”

Human nature comes into play when a team opens up an advantage against a lesser opponent. That is what gets you beat in the tournament season that begins next week, however. Georgetown, which finished the Big East regular season 5-13, isn’t dangerous unless an opponent fails to put away the Hoyas when the chance is there.

“Georgetown was outstanding,” Wright said. “Patrick [Ewing] deserves a ton of credit. Everything we tried to do they had an answer for. They were just able to find matchups that hurt us. Certain teams and their physicality give us problems and that team did. We all know we could be walking out of here on the other side of this.”

Instead of suffering a deflating end to the regular season, the Wildcats finished off with a 13-5 mark in the Big East. For the second straight road game, including Wednesday’s two-point win at Seton Hall, they were able to get out of town successfully despite having a lot go wrong. That’s a confidence builder, on one hand, but only if you ignore the fact that the Wildcats led by 14 against Seton Hall, and their lead was as much as 17 points against Georgetown. That’s the other hand, and it could smack Villanova eventually.

A large part of the issue is that Wright has to play his starters huge minutes to keep things going. The Wildcats had zero bench points against Seton Hall, and only four on Saturday. There might not have been that many, but Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree played nine minutes of the first half when Saddiq Bey picked up two quick fouls. In the second half, Bey, Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore played every tick of the 20 minutes.

“We don’t have great depth. It’s no secret,” Wright said. “When we lose [Bey to fouls], we lose a lot. In other years, it was an opportunity for another great player to come in, [but] our guys are real young in those spots.”

That won’t change by the conference tournament that begins on Thursday with a conference quarterfinal game for Villanova, which will be the second seed, and it certainly won’t change by the NCAA tournament the following week. The Wildcats have won 14 of their last 15 Big East tournament games, but Wright doesn’t necessarily feel that record will lend a carryover effect.

“I don’t mean to be a wise guy, but we had guys like Eric Paschall and Phil Booth, who were seniors, and Jalen Brunson and Mikal Bridges. We’ve always had veteran guys when we go into Madison Square Garden,” Wright said. “You got to the NCAA tournament and it’s such a different environment, and if you haven’t been there before it affects you. And if you say it doesn’t, you’re b-s’ing. Madison Square Garden is the same as the NCAA tournament, and I don’t know if any other conference has that. We’ve always had older guys and that’s going to be the challenge for this group, just not having those guys.”

An experience like Saturday’s might help, even though Capitol One Arena was only half full and the stakes weren’t nearly as high. Nevertheless, the Wildcats made it out in one piece.

They trailed by four points on three straight possessions in the final two minutes and scored on each of them. Bey made the biggest shot, a three-pointer with 1 minute, 20 seconds to play, and Jermaine Samuels put Villanova back ahead at the very end on a baseline drive in which he was fouled and his shot attempt was goaltended. That three-point play set the final score, but not until the officials let some hard defense by Gillespie go on a Terrell Allen final drive and shot.

The crowd, such as it was, felt the Hoyas had been robbed. More accurately, Georgetown had some bad luck and Villanova had some good luck.

Sometimes, luck is a great thing to have on your side. Given his druthers, however, Wright would trade that for having a couple of seniors on his side. Seniors aren’t better than luck, but they can create it.