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Men’s Basketball: Reynolds rolls

Bill Brink | Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Irish hung with the hottest team in the Big East for 30 minutes, but it took Scottie Reynolds just two minutes to bury them.

Reynolds scored 17 points, nine of them in a late burst, to give the No. 3 Wildcats a 90-72 win over Notre Dame Wednesday. The Irish record dropped to 15-6, 4-4 in Big East play.

The Wildcats (19-1, 8-0) remain atop the Big East.

Reynolds sank 3s, layups and free throws in a 2:02 span to vault Villanova out in front by 23, but by that time the Wildcats led comfortably. 

Notre Dame trailed by one point at the half and was down five with less than 10 minutes remaining in the game, but free throws from Reynolds, freshman guard Maalik Wayns and junior guard Corey Fisher, who hit four in 26 seconds, extended Villanova’s lead to 14 points before Reynolds went off.

The Wildcats also made 10 3-pointers and shot 48 percent from field goal range.
Wildcats guard Corey Fisher had 17 points and forward Antonio Pena had 14 points and 10 rebounds. Irish senior forward Luke Harangody scored 21 points and had 10 rebounds and junior forward Tyrone Nash had 12 points, his second straight game with double-digit scoring.

Senior guard Ben Hansbrough fouled out early in the second half after scoring just seven points, forcing senior guard Jonathan Peoples to play increased minutes. Peoples scored eight points in the game.

Villanova punched the jets late in the second half and scored seven points in 30 seconds, giving them a 77-62 lead with 6:15 remaining.

The Irish did not score for almost three minutes at the end of the game. In that period, the Wildcats scored 11 points, nine of them from Reynolds.

It wasn’t always this way. The Irish hit shots in the first half, especially Nash early, and held leads over the Wildcats. Harangody scored 15 points in the first half and took over near the end, scoring 11 in the final 6:48 of the half.

The Irish moved the ball well, especially around the perimeter to find open shooters.

But eventually the Wildcats half-court defense stifled Notre Dame. The players found themselves double-teamed and had difficulty creating plays.

A Fisher 3-point play gave Villanova a 57-49 lead with 13:20 remaining after the Irish kept it close coming out of the break.

Sophomore forward Taylor King’s 3-pointer gave Villanova a 66-56 lead with 9:11 to play and Notre Dame never got closer than eight points after that.

Four days after committing only two turnovers against DePaul, the Irish turned the ball over 14 times. They were out-rebounded 33-25 and shot only 63 percent from the foul line.

The Irish led 17-16 with 13:10 remaining in the first half, but Villanova took a 31-23 lead with 7:03 remaining.

Harangody scored six points in two minutes near the end of the half and helped draw the Irish back within two with 3:13 left in the first half.

Notre Dame will look to return to its winning ways Saturday when the team travels to face Rutgers.