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Reynolds, Villanova turn back Notre Dame

Jan 18, 2007 - 6:28 AM VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania (Ticker) -- Familiar surroundings paid off for Villanova.

Scottie Reynolds scored a career-high 27 points to lead the Wildcats to a 102-87 victory over No. 20 Notre Dame in the Big East Conference.

Playing just their sixth home game of the season, the Wildcats shot a blistering 60 percent (34-of-57) and registered their second-highest point total of the season.

Villanova (12-5, 2-3 Big East) had dropped three of its last four coming in and had scored more than 65 points just once in its previous six games - four of which were on the road.

"We couldn't score a basket in the last couple of games," Wildcats coach Jay Wright said. "Tonight, we made everything. Notre Dame can score. The only way we were going to beat them was to outscore them, because we couldn't stop them.

"We made big-time shot after big-time shot. Those were the shots we couldn't make in the last couple of games."

Reynolds finished 8-of-12 from the field and 9-of-10 at the line as the Wildcats repelled a number of second-half runs by the Irish (15-3, 3-2), who were playing just their third road contest of the season.

"He is a tough guy to guard," Wright said of Reynolds. "He is so respectful of the other guys on his team. He is always looking to get the ball to everybody else. We tell him that we need you to be Scottie Reynolds. I could have got a guy off the intramural team to come in and pass to everybody. We need you being Scottie Reynolds, and he has been doing that more and more each game."

Villanova opened the lead to 63-48 on Curtis Sumpter's 3-pointer with 15:43 left. Notre Dame sliced the deficit to seven points on three occasions, the last time when Russell Carter hit his sixth shot of the night from the arc to cut the margin to 79-72 with 5:57 left.

Reynolds answered that with a 3-pointer less than a minute later to restore the lead to double digits and Shane Clark put the Irish away when he hit from the arc to make it 90-76 with 3:20 to go.

"When you are digging out of a hole on the road in an atmosphere like this, it's difficult," Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said. "I give our guys credit. We were swinging and trying, but they made big plays to hold us off. I give credit to Villanova for defending us."

Sumpter scored 21 points, Dante Cunningham added 19 and Mike Nardi 18 for Villanova, which finished 10-of-20 from 3-point range.

"We just try to play a full 40 minutes of Villanova basketball," Reynolds said. "Sometimes we have lapses, but we have to keep a great attitude and play together, and that is what we did tonight."

Carter led the Irish with 26 points, including 6-of-11 from the arc. Carter scored 16 points in the opening 20 minutes and had half of Notre Dame's eight 3-pointers as Villanova carried a 50-40 lead into the break.

"I may have had 26 points, but we still lost," Carter said. "If I had five points and we won by 20 I'd be sitting here smiling. But I am not smiling because we came out of here with another loss."

Colin Falls added 17 points and hit five 3-pointers for Notre Dame, which hoisted up 34 shots from the arc, making 15.

    --- --- -----
    NOTRE DAME (20) 40 47 87
    VILLANOVA 50 52 102 FINAL


    Jan 17 9:09 PM

    NOTRE DAME (20) 40

    Jan 17 7:49 PM
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    RUWTbot Added 19 roots

    Notre Dame vs. VillanovaJan 17 7:49 PM