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Reynolds, Villanova advance to "Sweet 16"

Mar 23, 2008 - 8:10 PM TAMPA, Florida (Ticker) -- The last team to get into the NCAA Tournament, 12th-seeded Villanova is now headed to the "Sweet 16."

Scottie Reynolds scored 25 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished out four assists as the Wildcats cruised to a 84-72 victory over No. 13 Siena on Sunday in a second-round matchup out of the Midwest Regional.

Freshman Corey Stokes finished with 20 points and Dante Cunningham added 14 with six boards for Villanova (22-12), which will now face top seed Kansas in the next round.

"We have our confidence going and we won the game," Stokes said. "Being in the Sweet 16 as a freshman is a great feeling. The defense today was good. We came out and we just played defense and executed."

Siena (23-11), which led the entire way in its first-round triumph over Vanderbilt, never had the lead in this one.

Reynolds knocked down a 3-pointer to open the scoring and collected eight points early as the Wildcats jumped out to a 19-5 advantage with 12:54 remaining in the first half.

"It was huge getting off to a good start," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "He (Reynolds) hit a big three to start that."

"We wanted to be aggressive and get off to a good start and I kind of lifted the whole team," Reynolds added.

The sophomore guard had 17 points before the break en route to Villanova's wire-to-wire win.

"Scottie and Corey Stokes, they had a tremendous first half," said Cunningham, who scored all of his points after the intermission. "You know, just trying to weave a little pressure off them and get inside a little bit and pound them. Make it easier for them to get their shots off."

Despite shooting just 35 percent (20-of-56) from the field on the afternoon, the Saints were able to keep the score fairly close by making a lot of trips to the free-throw line. The finished 26-of-39 from the line.

"I think the shooting struggles really hurt us," Siena forward Alex Franklin said. "We usually don't shoot that poorly and the foul shots were what hurt us, too. They played a great game. They were just the better team today."

Siena did cut the deficit to 67-58 with 6:28 remaining on Franklin's layup, but then committed turnovers on two consecutive possessions as Villanova expanded its lead to 71-58 just 49 seconds later.

Franklin scored 18 points, Kenny Hasbrouck had 17 and Edwin Ubiles added 11 with 11 rebounds for the Saints.

"This game for us was a struggle at the start," Siena coach Fran McCaffery said. "We got down early. I think the mistake we made was we tried to quit shooting the ball a little bit. But I thought we really battled."

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    MetsFan Added 5 roots

    Siena(13) 72, Villanova(12) 84  FinalMar 23 8:09 PM

    --- --- -----
    SIENA 32 40 72
    VILLANOVA 42 42 84 FINAL

    Mar 23 2:25 PM

    NCAA BB (13) SIENA 32

    Mar 23 1:09 PM