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Villanova overcomes cold 3-point shooting to beat Delaware State

Nov 14, 2022; Villanova, Pennsylvania, USA; Villanova Wildcats forward Brandon Slater (34) controls the ball against the Delaware State Hornets in the second half at William B. Finneran Pavilion. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports

Eric Dixon had 17 points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots, Brandon Slater added 15 points and host Villanova pulled away for a 60-50 victory over stubborn Delaware State on Monday.

Slater went 12 for 12 from the free throw line, including four shots down the stretch to give Villanova enough of a cushion to prevail.

The Wildcats (2-1) missed their first 17 shots from 3-point territory and finished 5 for 27. Villanova, which had been ranked No. 16, lost to Temple last Friday and dropped out of the Top 25 Monday for the first time since February 2019.

Khyrie Staten led the Hornets (1-2) with 10 points and Brandon Stone added nine points and eight rebounds.

Delaware State jumped out to a surprising 12-2 lead five minutes into the game when Staten dropped in a 3-pointer. In less than 10 minutes Villanova had missed its first 12 treys and trailed 18-8.

Jordan Longino drove to the basket and scored to close the Wildcats within 22-16 with 7:24 to go. Martaz Robinson responded with a 15-foot jumper on the Hornets’ next possession.

Delaware State led 27-24 at halftime.

Villanova finished the opening 20 minutes 0 for 16 from 3-point territory. Slater hit a 3-pointer with 17:01 left to snap the team’s 0-for-17 drought and the Wildcats trailed 29-28.

Villanova took its first lead, 35-34, when Mark Armstrong hit a driving layup.

Raymond Somerville responded with a tough basket to regain a one-point advantage for Delaware State.

The Wildcats pulled ahead with five more points from Armstrong and later maintained a four-point lead, 47-43, when Brendan Hausen hit a trey with 7:44 remaining.

Dixon backed down in the low post and scored with 3:54 to go to put Villanova ahead 51-45. But Stone came right back with a 3-pointer to cut the deficit in half.

Slater was fouled on the Wildcats’ next two possessions and hit four free throws for a 55-48 lead with 3:01 left. Dixon then made a trey from the corner to make it a 10-point advantage.

Villanova continued to play without Justin Moore (Achilles) and Cam Whitmore (right thumb).

–Field Level Media