WASHINGTON -- Villanova guard-forward James Bell overcame foul trouble to score 16 points and the No. 9 Wildcats came back from a second-half deficit to beat Georgetown 65-60 on Monday night in the Big East.
Villanova forward Daniel Ochefu, averaging just 4.9 points per game, made his first three shots and had 12 points. His basket with 2:30 left gave the Wildcats a 61-56 lead before Georgetown guard Markel Starks (20 points) scored in the paint to make it 61-58 with 2:05 to go.
Bell missed a 3-pointer with less than a minute to play and the Hoyas called time with 44.9 seconds remaining after getting the defensive rebound.
Georgetown was whistled for a foul with 34.6 seconds to go. Villanova guard Tony Chenault was fouled with 33.8 seconds to go and made one of two free throws to push the lead to 62-58.
Georgetown missed several inside shots before fouling the Wildcats and Bell hit one free throw with 14.8 seconds left to seal the win.
Villanova (18-2, 7-1 Big East), which led by five at halftime, missed nine of its first 10 shots from the field in the second half but held on for the win.
Georgetown (11-9, 3-6), which has lost five in a row, had trouble with turnovers all night. Starks went past 1,000 points for his career with his basket with 2:05 left. But he missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key that would have tied the score with 1:24 left.
Chenault broke a 46-46 tie with a layup to give Villanova a 48-46 lead with 10:02 left. Bell, who picked up his fourth foul with 9:22 to go, returned to the game and hit a long 3-pointer to give the Wildcats a 59-54 lead with 3:30 to play.
Villanova led 35-30 at halftime, thanks to runs of 9-0 and 8-0 early in the game to overcome deficits. The Hoyas led 8-0 before the Wildcats took a 9-0 lead on a basket by Bell, who had 30 points on Saturday in an overtime win over Marquette.
Villanova had an 8-0 run to take a 19-12 lead midway through the first half but Georgetown pulled to within 26-24 on a basket by forward Aaron Bowen. A basket by Ochefu in the closing seconds gave the Wildcats a five-point lead at the break.
Starks had 10 points and four assists in the first half while forward JayVaughn Pinkston, averaging a team-high 15.2 points per game, had seven and Ochefu scored eight for the Wildcats.
Georgetown was coming off a loss at Creighton on Saturday. The Wildcats play Saturday at Temple and Georgetown faces Michigan State the same day at Madison Square Garden.
NOTES: Georgetown senior C Moses Ayegba was suspended one game by the NCAA and he sat out Monday against Villanova. He is averaging 12.8 minutes and 2.1 points per game. "We received notice of the suspension Monday afternoon and it stems from his pre-enrollment reconciliation," Georgetown athletic director Lee Reed said in a statement. ... The Hoyas will also play the rest of the season without 6-foot-10, 350-pound Joshua Smith, who was declared ineligible on Friday because of academic issues. The UCLA transfer averaged 11.5 points in 13 games. ... Georgetown F Jabril Trawick, who was out indefinitely after breaking his jaw against Providence on Jan. 8, entered the game in the first half and played four minutes, scoring three points. ... The Wildcats have two freshmen from the nearby Maryland suburbs who played high school ball for Washington schools: Kris Jenkins (Gonzaga) and Josh Hart (Sidwell Friends). Hart played five minutes in the first half and Jenkins played four.