Reynolds outshines Durant as Villanova topples TexasJan 21, 2007 - 12:11 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- A showcase for Kevin Durant turned out to be the Scottie Reynolds show.
Durant struggled in the second half while Reynolds was at his best in leading Villanova to a 76-69 victory over 23rd-ranked Texas.
Playing at the Wachovia Center, home of the Philadelphia 76ers, Durant looked anything but NBA-ready, scoring just one point and shooting 0-of-6 from the field after the break.
Afterward, he credited the Wildcats for their impressive defense, saying it was the toughest he'd seen this season.
"Yeah, it was," he said. "They played great team defense. ... Everywhere I was going, they had two people in my face. When I got the ball, they trapped."
"You've got to have length on him because he's so good on the perimeter," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We're lucky to have three guys that can guard on the perimeter and have length."
Yet, it was not just Durant that Villanova focused upon.
"Every time Kevin or somebody made a cut, they were physical," Texas coach Rick Barnes said. "I think you give them a lot of credit. I thought they played with a lot of emotion and passion."
A 6-9 freshman, Durant came in averaging 34.0 points and 13.5 rebounds in his last four games and 24.5 points and 11 rebounds this season. He scored 37 points to go with 12 rebounds and four blocks in Tuesday's 105-103 triple-overtime loss at Oklahoma State, but he was not nearly the factor against Villanova (13-5).
Also a freshman, Reynolds scored 19 of his 26 points in the second half and was clutch when it counted. He was 12-of-13 from the free-throw line and made four in the final 44 seconds to help put away the game.
Reynolds finished 6-of-15 from the field with two 3-pointers and handed out six assists.
"We want him to mix (his shots) up," Wright said. "He's a great 3-point shooter, too. We want him to shoot threes and drive the lane."
Despite Durant's disappearing act, Texas (13-5) did not fold after Villanova forged a double-digit second-half lead. A.J. Abrams hit a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 Texas run that made it 68-66 with 2:25 to play.
"A.J. (Abrams) and D.J. (Augustin) were playing great so Coach told us to give them the ball," Durant said. "They picked it up for me scoring-wise."
Dante Cunningham made a pair of free throws after being fouled by Durant to halt the Longhorn spurt and Durant missed a corner jumper, a 3-pointer and had a dunk blocked by Will Sheridan in the closing seconds.
The freshman Augustin scored 25 points, Abrams had 19 and Durant 12 for Texas, which played its first game in Philadelphia since 1948.
Cunningham finished with 16 points, Mike Nardi 13 and Shane Clark 11 and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats, who beat their second straight ranked foe despite playing without leading scorer and top rebounder Curtis Sumpter.
"If we just cut down on the little mistakes, we could be a really good basketball team," said Reynolds, whose team shot 36.8 percent (21-of-57) from the field and finished with 12 turnovers.
Sumpter sat out with a bruised left leg. He missed all of last season due to an ACL tear.
"(The decision) was right up until game time," Wright said. "He's got a deep bone bruise, so it's one of those things when he gets warmed up, it loosens up. But as soon as he stops, it tightens up again. He wanted to play."
- AT PHILADELPHIA PA
NCAA BB FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
TEXAS (23) 23 46 69
VILLANOVA 26 50 76 FINAL
Jan 20 3:47 PM
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