EditorsNote: Added space on La Salle’s name in hed and throughout story; Added La Salle’s name in lede graf; Added missing ‘a’ in 11th graf
Senior forward Eric Paschall scored 27 and senior guard Phil Booth added 19 to power No. 23 Villanova to an 85-78 victory over crosstown rival La Salle on Saturday at The Palestra in Philadelphia.
Paschall and Booth each hit 3 of 5 from 3-point range.
Sophomore guard Collin Gillespie contributed 15 points for the Wildcats (6-2), who won their 23rd consecutive game against another Philadelphia Big 5 rival.
Junior guard Traci Carter was high man for La Salle (0-8) with 17 points. Junior guard Isiah Deas was right behind with 15 points, hitting 5 of 7 3-pointers.
La Salle scored the first five points of the second half to take a 47-39 lead. Villanova followed with an 8-0 run to tie it. Jack Clark’s 3-pointer put La Salle ahead 50-47.
Villanova eventually took a 55-54 lead on a four-point play when Saddiq Bey made a 3-pointer and was fouled. It was Villanova’s first lead since 2-0 and it never trailed again.
Leading 73-72, Villanova grew the lead with six unanswered points.
The Wildcats sank 19 of 23 free throws, all in the second half. Gillespie hit all eight free throws and Paschall was 6 of 7 from the line.
Villanova made 55.1 percent of its shots while La Salle shot 58 percent.
The Explorers had 9 of their 15 turnovers in the second half.
The Explorers, who led by as many 12 points in the first half, hit 15 of 27 shots, include 9 of 15 3-pointers, to take a three-point halftime lead.
The Wildcats shot slightly better in the opening half, making 15 of 25 shots, including 9 of 14 3-pointers.
The difference was La Salle made all three free throws in the first half.
The Explorers played without leading scorer Pookie Powell (back spasms), leading rebounder Jared Kimbrough (back) and key reserve Cheddi Mosely (concussion). Powell is averaging 18.3 points per game and Kimbrough was the top rebounder with a 5.4 average.
La Salle used a 9-0 run to take a 32-20 lead on two 3-pointers by Deas and Clark.
Trailing 42-32, Villanova scored the final seven points to narrow the halftime deficit to three points.
—Field Level Media