VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -- Curtis Sumpter scored 14 points to lead Villanova to a 56-39 win over Saint Joseph's on Tuesday night and win the coveted Big 5 title outright for the second straight season.
The Wildcats (16-7) won their 11th straight Big 5 game and used wins this season against Penn, La Salle and Temple to sweep the city series for the second straight season.Darrin Govens led the Hawks (13-10) with eight points and Ahmad Nivins had 11 rebounds. Nivins entered averaging 17 points and was held to only six. Pat Calathes was averaging 13.9 points and 7.3 rebounds and finished with paltry numbers of four points and three boards.The game -- played at Villanova rather than at the Palestra, home of the Big 5 -- was no Big 5 classic. The Hawks shot 26 percent overall, committed 22 turnovers, went 3-for-14 from 3-point range and went 10-for-22 from the free-throw line. In numbers usually reserved from the losing team, Villanova shot 36 percent, was a miserable 3-for-22 from beyond the arc and had 18 turnovers.The Hawks were within eight after Rob Ferguson's basket with 9:03 left but scored only six more points, while the Wildcats got a rim-shaking dunk from Will Sheridan and a 3-pointer from Shane Clark and stretched their lead to 50-34.Villanova coach Jay Wright kept his starters in until the end and Mike Nardi punctuated the blowout with a 3-pointer in the final seconds. Hawks coach Phil Martelli had to call a timeout in the final 45 seconds and used a full-court press.It was the fewest points scored by the Hawks against the Wildcats since a 36-8 loss in 1939. Villanova also hung a 47-44 loss on Saint Joe in 1985.