Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The 10th-ranked Villanova Wildcats stifled the La Salle Explorers in the second half en route to a 73-52 beating of their Big-5 rival.
Darrun Hilliard scored 21 points, Josh Hart added 13, and the Wildcats (10-0) avenged last season's 77-74 overtime loss at La Salle in a big way.
Kris Jenkins was the only other Wildcat in double figures with 11 points, while Ryan Arcidiacono continued his cold start to begin the year as the sophomore guard scored nine points on 4-of-9 shooting.
Jerrell Wright scored 18 of his 20 points in the first half as La Salle (5-5) entered halftime trailing 38-34.
Villanova outscored the Explorers 19-5 to open the second half to take command with a 57-39 lead. Hilliard had seven points during the burst and Jenkins closed the run with a triple at 12:21.
The lead was as many as 25 late in the half until La Salle closed the game with two straight buckets for the final margin.
"La Salle's guards really gave us trouble in the first half," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "I know (Jerrell) Wright scored more points but it was because we were getting beat off the dribble by their guards."
Wright started fast for the Explorers, scoring the team's first eight points helping them to an early 8-5 lead.
A Tyrone Garland free throw staked the Explorers to a two-point advantage when the Wildcats used a 12-2 run that Hillard capped with a pair at the line to give Villanova a 27-19 lead with just under seven minutes left in the first.
Villanova pushed its lead to 10 with just over a minute left following a trio of free throws from Hillard but Wright ended the half just how he started, scoring four straight to end the stanza as part of a 6-0 run.
"They (Villanova) are really good. And they can all shoot," said La Salle head coach Dr. John Giannini. "Those guys put in the work and on top of it they play unselfishly, very hard, want to win and have a lot of energy."
Garland scored seven points on 2-of-12 shooting ... Villanova shot 49 percent from the field compared to 38.8 percent for La Salle ... La Salle had 17 turnovers ... Villanova is now 3-0 against the Big-5 after defeating Penn and St. Joe's in its two previous contests ... Villanova hosts Rider on Saturday while La Salle welcomes Wagner on Thursday.