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Hot-shooting 'Nova torches Mount St. Mary's

Villanova enjoyed a rather free path to the basket for much of the night against Mount St. Mary's, and freshman Josh Hart was more than happy to join in the fun.

Villanova's Darrun Hilliard. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)
Villanova's Darrun Hilliard. (Charles Fox/Staff Photographer)Read more

Villanova enjoyed a rather free path to the basket for much of the night against Mount St. Mary's, and freshman Josh Hart was more than happy to join in the fun.

Playing in just his second collegiate game, the 6-foot-5 Hart posted his first career double-double Wednesday night with 17 points and 11 rebounds in helping lift the Wildcats to a 90-59 victory over the Mountaineers at the Pavilion.

Hart made his first seven attempts as Villanova (2-0) connected on 62.7 percent of its field-goal tries. The Wildcats shot 68 percent in the second half with 14 of their 17 field goals coming on dunks or layups against the pressing defense of Mount St. Mary's (0-2).

For the game, 'Nova, which placed four players in double figures, scored 60 points in the paint.

The fast pace agreed with Hart, who missed 21/2 weeks in the preseason while recovering from a concussion.

"I definitely have a good feeling about it, but I always have room to improve," Hart said. "My teammates did a great job. When you have shooting like that, it definitely opens the floor. The energy that they bought really motivated me and the team."

Of Hart, Wildcats coach Jay Wright said, "He's just getting better every day. . . . I thought he really handled the ball well against pressure."

Villanova was down 8-7 early before getting a boost off the bench from senior guard Tony Chennault. Chennault was everywhere during the Wildcats' subsequent 16-0 run, making steals and setting up fastbreak layups with pinpoint passing.

The spurt ended with the Cats on top, 23-8, and 11 minutes, 25 seconds left in the half. The Mountaineers never recovered, with the margin rising to 21 (46-25) at the half and 31 (84-53) with 41/2 minutes to play.

Chennault, who was playing with six stitches in his lip after taking an elbow in Monday's practice, finished with five points, six assists, and two steals in 23 minutes.

JayVaughn Pinkston led Villanova with 21 points, Darrun Hilliard added 18 and James Bell 12.

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