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Jan. 6, 1998

Wildcats Win Thriller

Brian Lynch
Brian Lynch contributed 13 points in win over Boston College. (File photo)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - John Celestand had 18 points as Villanova overcame a 17-point first-half deficit to defeat Boston College, 68-65, in overtime in a Big East contest Tuesday.

Celestand hit two free throws with 30.1 seconds left in overtime to seal the victory for the Wildcats (7-5 overall, 4-0 Big East), who outscored Boston College 44-27 after halftime.

Brian Lynch had 13 points, including seven in overtime, and Howard Brown added 12 for Villanova, which has won five of its last six.

Duane Woodward had 27 points and nine rebounds for Boston College but also had eight turnovers. Woodward scored all eight points in overtime for the Eagles (8-7, 1-4), who have lost four in a row in the conference.

In overtime, Lynch scored Villanova's first five points, but each time he was matched by Woodward.

A hook shot off of an offensive rebound by Zeffie Penn and two free throws by Celestand with 30.1 seconds left in the extra period put Villanova ahead, 66-62. Lynch hit two free throws with 14.9 remaining to give Villanova a six-point lead before Woodward sank a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Boston College led 38-24 at halftime.

The Wildcats came out on fire after the break, going on a 17-2 run to lead by one, 41-40, with 11:50 to go. The Eagles missed their first nine field goals of the half, then rolled off 11 of the next 13 points to pull ahead, 51-43.

Brown sparked another Villanova run, scoring five points as the Wildcats outscored Boston College, 11-2, and took a 54-53 lead when Celestand hit a running jumper with 2:14 remaining. A steal and a dunk by Brian Lynch put Villanova ahead 56-53.

Boston College's Antonio Granger, who added 15 points, hit two free throws with 7.4 seconds left in the second half to tie the score 57-57 and send the game into overtime.