PHILADELPHIA (AP) Jermaine Samuels scored 19 points and made the decisive three-point play that put No. 14 Villanova ahead for good in a 61-55 win over Connecticut on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.
Samuels converted a three-point play with 2:51 left for a 52-51 lead and then buried a 3 with 31 seconds remaining for a four-point lead that clinched another tight one for the Wildcats (14-3).
The Huskies (10-7) kept it close against their pending Big East rival and attacked the paint with authority to offset a miserable effort from 3-point range (2 of 15). Christian Vital fought through the lane and tossed in a layup that brought the Huskies within two with 24 seconds left. But a full-court press on Villanova came up empty and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl sank two free throws to secure the Wildcats' 10th win in 11 games.
Collin Gillespie scored 12 points and Villanova made 11 of 23 3-pointers.
Vital led the Huskies with 13 points and eight rebounds.
Gillespie averaged 15.1 points and hit a team-high 38% of his 3s entering the game but was shut down in the first half: he went scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting. Once he started scoring, the Wildcats started rallying. Gillespie hit consecutive 3s and scored 10 straight points to help bring the Wildcats back from six points down to a 43-all tie with 7:43 left. >> Read More
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