In its first game since showing the Hawk will die, Villanova pulled away from Delaware early in the second half Sunday and posted a workmanlike, 75-65 nonconference victory at the Pavilion.
Sophomore JayVaughn Pinkston, a 6-foot-6 reserve forward, scored 19 points to pace Villanova, which was coming off a dramatic, 65-61 comeback win over St. Joseph's on Tuesday.
"We've been so guard-oriented, that people naturally come in and try to take our guards away," Villanova coach Jay Wright said after his team's third straight victory. "I just think it's really exciting that our forwards are finding each other and playing well off each other. If people are going to go after our young guards, our forwards our going to have to make plays."
Besides Pinkston, forwards James Bell (14 points), 6-11 Maurice Sutton (eight rebounds, six blocked shots), and 6-11 Daniel Ochefu (11 points, 5 for 6 from the floor, seven rebounds) were major contributors.
"We're always working together in practice, and we're getting a feel for working together," said Pinkston, who equaled his season high. "Just the little things . . . like coming to meet the pass. We're getting better every day."
Bell carried the momentum from his late heroics against St. Joseph's into Sunday.
Bell, a junior who buried a late three-pointer vs. St. Joe's to give Villanova the lead for good, scored eight first-half points as the Wildcats built a 32-28 halftime edge against Delaware. He finished 4 for 6 from three-point range.
"He's becoming our rock," Wright said.
Villanova outscored the Blue Hens, 30-12, from beyond the arc, and the Wildcats had a 43-27 rebounding advantage and a 38-16 edge in bench scoring.
With Villanova (7-4) holding a 46-40 lead early in the second half, Bell hit a three-pointer to trigger an 8-0 run that put the Wildcats comfortably ahead, 54-40. The hosts coasted the rest of the way.
Devon Saddler led Delaware (3-8) with 19 points, but a majority came during garbage time.
In a first half that had five lead changes, Villanova outscored the Blue Hens, 13-3, in points that followed turnovers.
"That's what we wanted to do - always be on the attack," Pinkston said.
Villanova has never lost to Delaware in the series' history, winning all 11 matchups.