VILLANOVA, Pa. - Freshman point guard Ryan Arcidiacono scored 20 of his 25 points in the first half, and Villanova pulled away in the final four minutes for an 80-68 victory over Marshall.
Marshall coach Tom Herrion, who preaches defense against the 3-point goal, thought his team gave Arcidiacono too many easy looks.
"We did a poor job on him early,'' he said. "That's unacceptable. I know he's a talented player, but we contributed mightily."
The contest was the Thundering Herd's first of four against major-conference opponents, with West Virginia, Cincinnati and Kentucky on the schedule in December. The Herd (1-1), which beat Longwood to start the season Friday, hung around deep into the second half.
Marshall got as close as two points twice in the second half, the last coming with exactly four minutes remaining when Chris Martin knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 70-68. But James Bell hit a 3-pointer, Hilliard drained two free throws, and Arcidiacono hit one on a 6-0 run that gave the Wildcats a 76-68 lead with 55 seconds left.
The Herd didn't score in the last four minutes, missing six shots and committing a turnover.
"I was really just watching to see what happened,'' said Villanova coach Jay Wright. "Either they're going to take a lead, or we're going to have the guts to fight through it. I like that we stayed tough. I thought we executed well down the stretch.''
D.D. Scarver led four Herd players in double figures with 22 points, hitting five 3-pointers in seven tries. Dennis Tinnon had 15 points and nine rebounds, Martin had 13 and Elijah Pittman 12.
Allowing the Wildcats (2-0) to shoot 50 percent didn't make Herrion happy, and neither did this: Marshall was roughed up on the boards, getting outrebounded 37-23. Even worse for the Herd, it managed only three offensive rebounds.
DeAndre Kane led the Herd with seven assists, but he scored just four points on 2-of-10 shooting. Otherwise, MU shot respectably, finishing 24 of 53 from all distances and 12 of 27 from 3-point range.
For Villanova, James Bell added 19 points and Darrun Hilliard contributed 15. Arcidiacono also had six assists.
"I thought Ryan was just great at the point,'' Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "I think he came in here from Day One knowing exactly what we wanted to do, and he has a very high basketball IQ."
Arcidiacono, from nearby Langhorne, Pa., was stellar in the first half when he made 5 of 8 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range. He also added four assists, including a nifty left-handed pass to Hilliard on a 2-on-1 break that ended with a Hilliard dunk.
Arcidiacono ended 6-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.
VILLANOVA 80, MARSHALL 68
Min FG FT R A P
Dennis Tinnon 36 4-7 6-9 9 1 15
Robert Goff 19 1-2 0-0 2 0 2
Nigel Spikes 15 0-1 0-0 2 0 0
D.D. Scarver 27 8-14 1-2 1 2 22