Published December 21, 2013
| Sports Network
Villanova, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The Villanova Wildcats are off to their best start in 52 years after another easy win.
The road is about to get a little tougher.
Josh Hart scored 19 points and the No. 8 Wildcats beat Rider 88-67 on Saturday for their fourth straight win by at least 21 points.
JayVaughn Pinkston had 14 points and Darrun Hilliard scored 13 for Villanova (11-0), which was coming off comfortable wins over Philadelphia-area Big Five rivals Pennsylvania, Saint Joseph's and La Salle.
The Wildcats will go into their road game against No. 2 Syracuse next Saturday sporting an 11-0 record for the first time since the 1961-62 season.
It will be the first meeting between the old Big East rivals since Syracuse left for the ACC and should mark Villanova's toughest test since last month's win over Kansas.
"If our guys didn't come to play we get beat today, and our guys came to play," said Villanova coach Jay Wright. "They have break coming up and everybody has been talking to them about the Syracuse game, and it's really a pleasure to coach guys that could focus on the next game and have respect for their opponent and that's the best thing I think we did today."
Rider (5-5) had a three-game winning streak snapped. The Broncs were led by Anthony Myles, who scored a game-high 22 points.
Villanova led by 13 after Hart's jumper made it 25-12 but Rider scored the next seven points on a Myles 3-pointer and back-to-back buckets by Jimmie Taylor to get within six.
The Broncs got as close as five but the Wildcats scored 16 of the last 23 points in the first half to take a 43-29 lead into the break behind better than 54 percent shooting.
"I thought for the first 17 minutes of the game we played fairly well, and then for the last three minutes of the half I thought we really let it get out of control," said Rider coach Kevin Baggett.
"Then we talked about coming out and being ready to go in the second half and we didn't, and they built a larger lead."
Pinkston's 3-pointer capped a 9-2 burst to open the second half that gave Villanova a 21-point lead. The Wildcats led by as many as 27 and shot 50 percent (28-of-56) in the game.
Among those in attendance for Villanova Basketball Alumni Day was Rollie Massimino, who coached Villanova's 1985 national championship team and was recently inducted into the college basketball Hall of Fame ... Villanova started 12-0 in 1961-62 ... Rider plays Penn on Dec. 29.