The American University men's basketball team dropped its third straight contest Thursday night losing to Villanova, 73-52 despite a career-high 19 points from Blake Jolivette. Charles Hinkle added 17 and Tony Wroblicky had a team-high eight rebounds and two blocks. Daniel Munoz added three assists. American was playing without second-leading scorer Troy Brewer (14.1 ppg) who missed his second straight game with turf toe.
Villanova (7-5) went on a 6-0 run to open the first half but a Hinkle three pointer tied the game at 11 with 13:48 to play. American (8-5) took a two-point lead after a Riley Grafft pull-up jumper, but two straight three pointers gave the Wildcats the 17-13 advantage with 11:48 left. Hinkle scored seven straight points for the Eagles to bring them to within two, before a James Bell three extended Nova's lead back at five with just under six minutes to play, 27-22.
Two straight lay-ups from Maalik Wayns and a pull-up jumper from Achraf Yacoubou took Villanova's lead to 11 before Jolivette answered with a lay-up to cut the lead back to 33-24 with 3:32 to go. A Hinkle three and Jolivette lay-up rounded out the scoring for American, as Villanova took a 38-29 lead at the half.
Hinkle led the scoring for American in the first half with 13 points as Jolivette added seven. Wroblicky led the Eagles with four rebounds. American shot 37.9 percent from the field in the first and 40.0 percent from three-point range. Villanova shot 45.2 percent from the field and, like the Eagles, 40.0 percent from beyond the arc.
Jolivette scored four straight points in the first two minutes of the second half to bring American to within five, 38-33. Villanova did not score their first points of the half until four minutes in with a pair of Wayns' free throws and a Johnson lay-up that gave them a 42-33 lead. The Wildcats scored three straight buckets to take a 16-point lead with 12:30 to play, 49-33. Jolivette added two more three's but a lay-up from JayVaughn Pinkston and a dunk from Markus Kennedy extended the home team's lead to 56-39 with 8:06 left.
American cut it to 13 off a Hinkle lay-up and a Munoz jumper with 5:41 to play, 58-45. The Wildcats used a 9-2 run over the next two minutes to pull away. Villanova walked away with the 73-52 win.
Pinkston and Wayns led Villanova with 12 apiece as the team shot 43.3 percent from the field and 40.0 percent from three-point range. Mouphtaou Yarou had 10 boards for the Wildcats.
This was the second straight loss for the Eagles at the hands of a Big East power. Last Saturday, American lost to Georgetown at Verizon Center. They will try to break their three-game skid next Thursday, December 29th when they travel to Mount St. Mary's. Tip-off is set for 4 p.m.