Sure, they’re all big in the Big East. But some are simply bigger than others.

 

Villanova vs. Georgetown has always fallen in that category, even before that magical night when Rollie Massimino’s Wildcats stunned Patrick Ewing and the Hoyas to win the national title. Yesterday’s high-noon showdown at the Wachovia Center was no exception, as Jay Wright’s No. 4 ’Cats tried to snap a five-game losing streak to Georgetown.

 

Mission accomplished, after some anxious moments.

 

“Georgetown’s tough for us to play because they’re the exact opposite style,” said Wright. “They play a half-court game and like to slow tempo, while we like to go up and down. We probably played as well as we can the first half. The second half, we didn’t play well.”

 

With big man Greg Monroe (29 points) and Austin Freeman (22) leading the charge, the Hoyas (13-3) erased an early 40-23 deficit to twice tie before Scottie Reynolds’ twisting layup put ’Nova ahead to stay, 71-69, with 3:14 left.

“Scottie made some big plays when we needed him,” Wright said. “Scottie has a great knack of making those plays.”

Villanova then came up huge defensively, including two steals, before getting a clutch hoop from Reggie Redding (11), then four free throws apiece from Reynolds and freshman Maalik Wayns (11) in the last 37 seconds to seal the deal.

“I had to make a play and hit a big shot,” said Redding. “We knew in the back of minds we’d lost five straight to Georgetown.”