It took Villanova 10 games before finally coming up with a 20-point scorer. In fact, in the seventh-ranked Wildcats' 85-62 Big Five victory Sunday over Temple at the Pavilion, they placed two players at the 20-point plateau.
While 'Nova coach Jay Wright doesn't care who gets the points for his team from game to game, he was pleased to see how the Cats (10-0, 3-0 Big Five) worked to get points for Josh Hart and Darrun Hilliard, who scored exactly 20 with only seven field-goal attempts each.
"It is nice when a couple of guys get it going," Wright said. "I thought actually that our team did a good job when Josh got it going to find him. Darrun's always kind of the guy, you don't have to run plays for him, he just does so many things. Actually, Josh is the same way, but today we happened to run plays for him.
"That was good for us to experience that as a team. The only other time we did was in [Tuesday night's] Illinois game, when Dylan [Ennis] got it going. But we really haven't had many chances to do that this year, and you need to do that before league play."
Both Hart and Hilliard shot 6 of 7 from the floor with three three-point baskets and drained five free throws. Hart, a 6-foot-6 sophomore who usually gets his points slashing to the basket or on putbacks, was effective Sunday from the perimeter.
"Our guys did a good job of finding me, and I just took open shots," said Hart, who also grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. "They did a great job finding me, and the ball just happened to go in."
Meanwhile, the Owls (6-4, 2-2) needed 30 shots from their top two scorers - Will Cummings (4 of 14) and Quentin DeCosey (4 of 16). DeCosey had 18 points, Cummings 14.
"They're just a good basketball team," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "They play hard. They play together. And it doesn't look like anybody cares who scores."
Villanova shot 56 percent from the field in the first half, held Temple to 28 percent, and led by 39-26 at the break. The Wildcats maintained a double-digit margin in the second half, although the Owls made a 12-1 run to narrow the deficit from 24 to 13, 72-59, with 4 minutes, 37 seconds to play.
But the Wildcats scored on their next five possessions to put the game away.
The Wildcats have won their three City Series games by an aggregate of 65 points. They can make a run at their record of 90, set last year, when they visit the Palestra to take on Penn on Jan. 17.
"I think things are cyclical," Wright said. "We have older guys. I think we've got two years here where we have older guys, and the other teams are younger. That makes a big difference in college basketball, and that's what you've seen here the last couple of years."