Jan. 17, 2007
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -Freshman Scottie Reynolds scored 27 points, Curtis Sumpter had 21 and Dante Cunningham added 19 to lead Villanova to a 102-87 victory over No. 20 Notre Dame on Wednesday night.
Mike Nardi scored 18 points and the Wildcats (12-5, 2-3 Big East) hit 10 3-pointers to get a sorely needed conference victory heading into Saturday’s game against No. 21 Texas.
Russell Carter hit six 3-pointers and scored 26 points, Colin Falls had five 3s and 17 points, and Luke Harangody scored 13 points for the Irish (15-3, 3-2) in their first trip to the Pavilion since 1996. Notre Dame lost for only the second time in its last 16 games.
Reynolds has been sensational lately, and he sparked the Wildcats down the stretch. He scored 12 of 17 points in one spurt late in the second half, helping the Wildcats keep the lead each time the Irish cut into it with another 3-pointer.
Reynolds’ tip forced a turnover that led to Cunningham’s reverse layup to put the lead back at 10.
Still, the Irish weren’t finished, certainly not against the worst 3-point field goal defensive team in the Big East. After scoring 16 points in the first half, Carter hit a 3 for his first points in the second that sliced the lead to 77-69.
Another Notre Dame turnover, it had 13, was converted into a 2-on-1 fastbreak layup by Reynolds. Carter suddenly showed some life again from beyond the arc and hit one that made it 79-72 with 5 1/2 minutes left. Carter finished 6-for-11 from 3-point range, but made only three other field goals.
While the 3-point shots were flying, the Wildcats stole some sloppy passes in the paint to secure this one. Will Sheridan easily grabbed a lazy pass that was fed to Reynolds for a 3 and an 82-72 lead, capping his scoring spurt. When Shane Clark’s 3 made it 90-76, the Pavilion crowd erupted and the Wildcats were on their way to their second-highest point total of the season.
Nardi’s two free throws with 1:23 left gave the Wildcats 100 points.
With 76ers executive vice president Larry Brown jotting down notes from his baseline seat, each team played fast and loose with the 3-point attempts. Sumpter hit one, and then Carter sank a 3 that made it 16-9. After a two-point basket, Carter buried a 3, that this time was answered by Sumpter.
With little perimeter defense on either side, the Irish went 8-for-15 from 3-point range and the Wildcats shot 50 percent from beyond the arc and 59 percent overall to lead 50-40 at halftime.