Brooklyn, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - JayVaughn Pinkston scored 15 points with seven rebounds to help No. 12 Villanova to a 77-53 win over 14th-ranked VCU in the Progressive Legends Classic at Barclays Center.
Darrun Hilliard II netted 14 points and Kris Jenkins supplied 13 points off the bench for the Wildcats (4-0), who played their first game away from home.
"I thought we just did a great job passing the basketball and if you can do it against them, you should be able to do it against most teams," said Villanova head coach Jay Wright.
Villanova will face No. 19 Michigan in the championship game on Tuesday.
Briante Weber and Melvin Johnson each totaled 13 points for the Rams (3-1).
Treveon Graham, VCU's second-leading scorer who entered the game averaging 18 points per game, had just four points on 2-of-9 shooting.
"You can't win games against anyone, particularly against a quality team like Villanova, if you can't stop them," VCU head coach Shaka Smart said. "It's a painful reminder that we need to get better on defense."
The Rams' patented "Havoc" defense couldn't stop Villanova on Monday, allowing the Wildcats to make 50 percent of their shots while only mustering a 37.3 percent success rate on the offensive end.
VCU opened the second half with six straight points to take a 36-32 lead, but the Wildcats countered with a 15-0 run to open the game up. Hilliard started the barrage with a three-point play. Ryan Arcidiacono buried a 3- pointer later in the run, then assisted on Jenkins' trey before Josh Hart capped it with a three-point play.
Villanova continued to wreak havoc against the Rams as it coasted down the stretch to earn the Top-25 win.
Neither team could shake one another in the first half, with Villanova grabbing the largest lead of five, 21-16, on Dylan Ennis' jumper.
VCU regained the advantage later in the frame on Mo Alie-Cox's layup which made it a 30-29 game with 2:53 left.
The Rams wouldn't score the rest of the way, however, as Pinkston tied the game with a free throw and Phil Booth closed the half with a jumper to give the Wildcats a 32-30 lead at the break.
Hart finished with 10 points off the bench for Villanova ... The Wildcats owned a 39-32 advantage in rebounds ... Villanova's bench outscored VCU's reserves 36-11 ... The Rams made 2-of-17 shots from beyond the arc.