Feb. 15, 2005
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP)--Allan Ray scored 23 points to lead Villanova (NR ESPN/USA Today; No. 25 AP) to an 89-51 victory over Bucknell on Tuesday night.
Mike Nardi, who hit four 3-pointers, and Curtis Sumpter each had 14 points and Jason Fraser grabbed eight rebounds to help the Wildcats (15-6) bounce back from their worst loss of the year against No. 9 Syracuse. Villanova made 21 of its first 33 shots overall, including nine of its first 18 3-point attempts, and turned this one into a blowout early.
Chris McNaughton led Bucknell (17-8) with 17 points and Charles Lee had 11. McNaughton made his first five shots from the field and the Bisons of the Patriot League -- who upset then-No. 10 Pittsburgh last month -- tied the game at 17-all.
The Wildcats took over from there, getting a three-point play from Fraser and a 3-pointer from Randy Foye that kicked off an 18-2 run and put them up 43-28 at halftime.
The Wildcats got a scare midway through the first half when Foye took a hard fall on his back when he was fouled on a breakaway layup attempt. Foye, Villanova's second-leading scorer at 14.9 points, was face down for several minutes while his concerned teammates stood nearby.
Foye was helped up and wobbled as teammates carried him into the locker room. A team spokesman said Foye was "shaken up" and the junior starting guard did not return. He was back on the bench for the second half, however. Bucknell's Abe Badmus fouled Foye and was heartily booed when he touched the ball the rest of the game.
Bisons' leading scorer Kevin Bettencourt (14.0) missed all seven shots -- six from 3-point range -- and did not score.
Ray sandwiched two 3-pointers around one by Nardi during a 21-5 second half spurt and the home crowd started filing out soon after. Those who stuck around were entertained by a spirited effort from Villanova's bench, including 2-for-2 3-point shooting and nine points for Baker Dunleavy, son of Los Angeles Clippers coach Mike Dunleavy.
The Wildcats lost by 15 points to Syracuse on Saturday, but have won six of eight and stayed in the Top 25 for the third straight week.
Villanova coach Jay Wright played at Bucknell and was co-captain of the 1982-83 team.
Coach Wright Post-Game Quotes
On the game:
"That was a very good team that we beat. They won at Pittsburgh and at St. Joseph's, and beat a tough Niagara team in the MAAC. As a coach you are always concerned about guys understanding that they are facing a tough non-conference opponent in the middle of a Big East season. We work all the time on not letting an opponent dictate how we play, and I'm proud that we played Villanova basketball tonight like we have played every night. That's an accomplishment for college guys, and I feel good about that. Bucknell is very good, and I thought we played very good defense against them."
On getting a break from the Big East schedule:
"It's a good think now that it's over, but you worry abut it going into the game. Like I said, this team beat Pitt and St. Joseph's and if they get shooting the ball, you're in trouble. Pitt got behind them and it was over, so we were concerned about that. That's why I thought it was a really good defensive effort against their guards. Bettencourt is a heck of a player, and he didn't score."
On resting some of the regular players:
"We talked about being ready for 40 minutes, because this was a team that played everybody tough and has beaten people. We were able to rest Curtis Sumpter, Randy Foye and Jason Fraser, which was an added bonus."