VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) Josh Hart shook off a slow start to score 26 points and lead No. 1 Villanova to its 17th straight win, 78-57 over Temple on Tuesday night.
The Wildcats (11-0) haven't lost since the Big East championship game. They won six straight in the postseason to win the NCAA championship and have been flawless this season. The Wildcats fattened their record against Philly teams and finished 4-0 in the Big 5 city series.
Hart missed his first five shots after missing four total shots in a 37-point effort last week against Notre Dame. He hit a runner at the first-half buzzer to spark a sensational second half: Hart made consecutive 3s that made it 49-31 and blew the game open.
Hart was about as well-rounded offensively as any player of the year candidate this season. He attacked the rim and converted three-point plays and absolutely dominated when needed against a Temple program with a recent history of knocking off nationally ranked Wildcat teams.
Jalen Brunson scored 13 points for the Wildcats.
Shizz Alston Jr. led Temple (7-4) with 12 points.
Temple: The Owls had already defeated two Top 25 teams this season and received votes in the poll. But Temple stumbled at home against George Washington and the loss to the Wildcats has stalled their momentum. The Owls were awful in the first half with 12 turnovers on 31 possessions. They had six turnovers and were held without a point during one 10-possession stretch. The Owls had their lowest point total in the first half this season.
Villanova: The Wildcats finished undefeated (4-0) in the Big 5 and won their 18th straight game overall in the city series. The Wildcats are 4-0 each of the last four seasons in the Big 5. Hart, Kris Jenkins and Darryl Reynolds are the first senior class in the 60-year history of the Big 5 to go unbeaten.
Temple hosts NJIT on Saturday.
The top-ranked Wildcats play their final nonconference game before Big East play on Dec. 21 against American.