Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - James Bell supplied 16 points, four rebounds, and four steals as the No. 9 Villanova Wildcats held on to defeat the Georgetown Hoyas, 65-60, at Verizon Center.
JayVaughn Pinkston and Daniel Ochefu both had 12 points and Ryan Arcidiacono contributed nine points, five boards, and three assists as Villanova (18-2, 7-1 Big East) won its second straight game and seven of its last eight.
"That was tough, it was physical - I thought Georgetown's defense was great we had sixteen turnovers - we haven't done that - we've been pretty good taking care of the basketball but I just thought they played great defense tonight and I thought we did too," Wildcats head coach Jay Wright said.
Markel Starks had a game-high 20 points and five helpers and Reggie Cameron chipped in with 12 points as Georgetown (11-9, 3-6) extended its losing streak to five games.
"We're in a hole right now. One thing we don't have to worry about is that the kids competed, they're going to compete, they played hard," Hoyas head coach John Thompson III said.
Georgetown started the game on an 8-0 run that contained back-to-back treys from Cameron and Starks, but Arcidiacono dropped two 3s of his own in an 8-0 run to give Villanova a 19-12 lead over eight minutes into the contest.
Ochefu drained a jumper with three seconds left in the half to give the Wildcats a 35-30 edge heading into the break.
The Hoyas tied the game less than two minutes into the half. Cameron hit a 3 and Starks went in on a layup to even the score at 35. Georgetown took a 41-39 lead off a pair of free throws by Starks three minutes later.
After Bell and Bowen traded triples to keep the game tied at 46, Pinkston and Arcidiacono both made a pair of free throws to give Villanova a 52-48 edge with close to eight minutes remaining.
Starks knocked down a jumper to get the Hoyas within two with just over four to go, but Bell went down the other end and drained a triple from the right wing to make it a 59-54 game.
With Villanova leading 61-58, Bell missed a three and Nate Lubick pulled down a defensive rebound to setup the next play. Starks drove inside from the left side, but was called for charging as he threw a pass out to an open Hoya in three-point range with 34 seconds to go.
Aaron Bowen was forced to foul Tony Chennault off the Wildcats' inbound pass. Chennault split the free throw shots to put Villanova up by four. Jabril Trawick missed both of his jumpers on the other end and Bell knocked down another free throw.
Pinkston knocked down two more free throws and Starks drove in on a layup to account for the final score.