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Villanova's late 1st-half run sinks Ohio

Vander Plas has double-double in 78-54 loss

PHILADELPHIA – No. 10 Villanova went on a 16-0 late second-half run and pulled away for a 78-54 victory against Ohio on Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Bobcats (3-1) scored the game’s first five points and led 17-16 on a Jason Preston layup with 6:47 left in the first half, but the Wildcats (2-1) took over in the next four minutes.

Ben Vander Plas led Ohio with a double-double of 19 points and 10 rebounds, and Preston had 16 points and eight assists, but the Bobcats were unable to continue their hot outside shooting start to the season, going just 3 of 20 from long range.

Saddi Bey had 19 points, and Justin Moore finished with 18 for Villanova, which was coming off of a blowout loss to Ohio State. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had a double-double of 11 points and 11 rebounds, along with four assists and four steals, and Collin Gillespie scored 10 points.

"I was really happy with the way we started," Ohio coach Jeff Boals said. "If you really look at it, right at the eight-minute media timeout it was a one-point game. I thought we did a great job of following the game plan and rebounding a blocking out on transition defense.”

Villanova responded to Ohio’s quick start by taking a 15-9 lead. The Bobcats battled back to briefly regain the lead, but the Wildcats took over for a while after that.

Justin Moore’s jumper put Villanova up for good 18-17, and Jermaine Samuels capped the run with a free throw with 3:02 left in the half to make it 32-17. The Wildcats added three more 3-pointers before halftime and led 43-21 at halftime.

“It was that one stretch from the 7:40 minute mark to halftime where Villanova just went on a run and opened the game up,” Boals said. “They're really good. That's a top-10 team in the country. Their ability to make shots is why they're so good. If you look at that stretch, we did some things that we didn't talk about doing. Against a team like that your margin for error is small.”

While Ohio was 0 for 8 from long range in the first half, Villanova made 8 of 16 attempts and finished the game 14 of 31.

Beysaddiq’s 3-pointer with 14:35 remaining gave Villanova its biggest lead, 56-28. Vander Plas scored seven straight points after that, but it was not nearly enough to get Ohio back in the game. Villanova later pushed its lead back up to 28 at 73-45 with 4:52 to go on a Cole Swider 3-pointer.

Smaller Ohio actually held a 42-36 rebounding advantage in the game, but had 16 turnovers, compared to only five for the Wildcats.

Ohio remains on the road with the Myrtle Beach Invitational from Nov. 21-24, beginning with a game against No. 24 Baylor at 4:30 p.m. Thursday on ESPN2.

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