TOWSON, Md. -- Daniel Smith ran two yards for a touchdown on Villanova’s first possession of overtime and the 18th-ranked Wildcats held on defense on Towson’s drive to earn a 52-45 victory over the No. 5 Tigers in their CAA opener.

Villanova (4-0) tied the game with 10 seconds left in regulation on a 45-yard field goal by Drew Kresge. The Wildcats converted two fourth downs during the drive, including one from their own 7-yard line.

Towson (3-1) won the coin toss in overtime and chose to go on defense but the Wildcats only needed two plays to score. Justin Covington, who rushed for a career-high 194 yards on 27 carries, ran for 23 yards to the 2, and Smith swept to the right for the touchdown.

The Tigers moved to the Villanova 7 on their possession with fourth and one, but Tom Flacco’s pass to a diving Shane Leatherbury was ruled incomplete, a decision that was upheld on replay.

Smith completed 25 of 42 passes for 279 yards and four touchdowns, two of them to Jaaron Hayek, and rushed seven times for 70 yards and two scores.

The Wildcats scored 21 consecutive second-half points to turn a 28-21 halftime deficit into a 42-28 lead with 11 minutes, 33 seconds left in the fourth quarter. The Cats scored on their first two possessions of the third quarter -- a 36-yard run by quarterback Daniel Smith and Justin Covington’s 1-yard run.

An interception by Villanova’s Elijah Trent at the Towson 34 set up the Wildcats’ third touchdown of the half, a 3-yard pass from Smith to Covington.

But the Tigers, who were held to 65 total yards in the third quarter, scored 17 points after that to take the lead on a 34-yard field goal by Aiden O’Neill with 1:52 to play. Towson also scored on a 1-yard run by Yeedee Thaenrat, his third touchdown of the game, and then 1:17 later on a 49-yard interception return by linebacker Robert Heyward, who caught a pass that went off the hands of Hayek, the intended receiver.