VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Villanova's record looks stout, the national poll ranking is solid. It's some of the other numbers that are starting to make coach Jay Wright nervous.
"I would have thought we would have been sharper," Wright said.
Five different players scored for the Wildcats (6-1) during a 13-0 run early in the second half that helped make this one more comfortable. Villanova beat its Big 5 rival for the 11th time in the past 14 games in the series.
The rivalry that dates to 1921 and features schools separated by 6.7 miles has been a lopsided one. Villanova leads 44-24 overall.
The Wildcats shook off a sluggish first half and a poor shooting night to win their first game since losing the championship game of the NIT Season Tip-Off.
Isaiah Armwood (back spasms) and Maurice Sutton (sprained left ankle) sat out for the Wildcats and forward JayVaughn Pinkston is still out because of an assault charge, leaving them with six reliable players in the rotation.
"We missed their presence out there," Pena said.
St. Joseph's rallied after falling behind by 20 and never let the more-talented Wildcats completely dominate.
As the famous Saint Joseph's slogan goes, "The Hawk Will Never Die!"
Saint Joseph's trimmed the lead to nine with a minute left, but the rally was too late. Villanova students responded by chanting, "The Hawk is Dead! The Hawk is Dead!"
Martelli hated hearing that the Hawks played hard in defeat.
"Whenever you're a coach and they tell you that your team played hard, what they're telling is you stink. You're not good enough," Martelli said. "Playing hard is a euphemism for 'you ain't good enough.'"
Villanova won despite another lousy shooting performance and lackadaisical play down the stretch. It shot 39 percent, including 7 for 23 on 3s.
"I wish we would have finished it," Wright said.
Their shooting failed them for the most part, and while they have the talent to slip past a rebuilding Saint Joseph's team, these kinds of performances could derail the Wildcats' Big East title hopes. The Wildcats entered shooting 45 percent on the season -- and a glaring 29 percent from 3-point range.
Wright said outside shooting wasn't a total concern yet, "but it's getting there."
"I think we're a good shooting team that's missing shots right now," he said. "But we'll see."
The Wildcats, though, pummeled the Hawks on the boards and got some rare easy baskets off turnovers. Stokes hit a pair of quick 3s early in the second half for a 13-point lead.
Saint Joseph's was coming off a 12-point loss to Drexel and has Princeton and No. 15 Minnesota ahead next week.
The Wildcats made up for their lack of depth by committing only three personal fouls in the first half. But they were a brutal 4 for 13 from 3-point range and couldn't build a comfortable lead against a Hawks team they were expected to dominate. Dominic Cheek hit a 3 right before the break to give Villanova its first 10-point lead, 38-28.
Cheek and Corey Fisher scored 14 points apiece for the Wildcats, who outrebounded the Hawks 48-34.
"We have work to do, but we'll get better," Fisher said.