Villanova breezes past Delaware 80-60 in NCAA 1st round

Mar 18, 2022, 2:11 AM | Updated: 3:10 pm
Villanova's Jermaine Samuels, top, dunks past Delaware's Dylan Painter during the first half of a c...

Villanova's Jermaine Samuels, top, dunks past Delaware's Dylan Painter during the first half of a college basketball game in the first round of the NCAA tournament, Friday, March 18, 2022, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

(AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Villanova’s hangover from another Big East title lasted maybe 10 minutes. Once the Wildcats found their footing, they ran away from scrappy Delaware.

Justin Moore scored 21 points, Collin Gillespie added 14 and second-seeded Villanova had little trouble with the 15th-seeded Blue Hens, breezing to an 80-60 victory in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Friday.

The Wildcats (27-7) used a 35-10 surge spanning the end of the first half and the start of the second to turn an eight-point deficit into a blowout. Villanova will meet Ohio State in the second round of the South Region on Sunday. The No. 7-seeded Buckeyes downed Loyola Chicago 54-41 in the first of four games at PPG Paints Arena.

Villanova coach Jay Wright worried about his team’s legs after watching conference rivals Marquette and UConn flame out of the NCAAs quickly during first-round losses on Thursday.

“They just looked worn down,” Wright said.

The Wildcats, not so much. While Delaware (22-13) showed some early fight against its northern neighbor in a meeting of programs separated by 43 miles on the map and considerably more in the college basketball landscape, it wasn’t nearly enough.

Villanova overwhelmed the Blue Hens under a barrage of 3-pointers to begin the school’s quest for a third national title in seven seasons.

“I think over the course of the game, we decided to get a feel for what (Delaware) wanted to do, and we got comfortable with making plays for each other, and that’s what it’s all about,” said Wildcats forward Jermaine Samuels, who had 15 points and nine rebounds.

Jyare Davis led Delaware with 17 points but over the course of 40 minutes, Villanova exposed the considerable gulf between schools that are bitter rivals in several sports, just not basketball.

Jameer Nelson Jr., the son of the former Saint Joseph’s and NBA star who regularly battled the Wildcats as part of the city’s Big Five, was limited to eight points on 3-of-13 shooting.

“(We) put a little scare in them,” Delaware coach Martin Ingelsby said. “I think the end of the first half and early part of the second half they were able to extend that lead and we were battling uphill from there.”

Early on, the Colonial Athletic Association champion Blue Hens didn’t show any nerves or fear against one of the sport’s bluebloods.

Graduate forward Dylan Painter, who began his career at Villanova, gave Delaware an early 15-8 lead, easing any anxiety that the stage would be too big. Guard Kevin Anderson made it a point to drink in the moment. Maybe a little too much.

“As soon as we started appreciating it, they started hitting 3s,” Anderson said. “I think we appreciated it too long.”

Gillespie got Villanova on track with a pair of 3-pointers, Samuels and Daniels added one each and the Wildcats closed the first half with a 13-2 burst to take a 35-25 lead into the break.

Villanova’s momentum carried over to the second half. Moore poured in 12 points in the first five minutes — including three 3-pointers — as the Wildcats’ advantage quickly ballooned to 20 points. Delaware would not get within 16 the rest of the way.

COSTLY COLLISION

Villanova assistant Dwayne Anderson, a captain on the 2009 Wildcats team that reached the Final Four, had to be helped off the floor after getting slammed into by Samuels while Samuels was chasing down a loose ball with the Wildcats up big late in the second half.

Asked if maybe he could have eased up with the Wildcats comfortably in front, Samuels shook his head.

“That’s not what we do here at Villanova,” Samuels said. “We’re going to play a full 40 (minutes) no matter what’s going on around us.”

FIRST FAN

President Joe Biden filled out his brackets, picking Delaware over Gonzaga in the final to win the NCAA Tournament. No surprise, he’s a proud alum.

Biden also selected Delaware to win the women’s tournament.

“I’m proud of all the athletes competing in this year’s NCAA tournament,” he wrote on Twitter. “But at the end of the day, I’m a @UDelaware guy. Go Blue Hens!”

___

More AP coverage of March Madness: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/ncaa-mens-bracket and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Fans eat and watch the big screen before the NASCAR Cup Series auto race Sunday, Oct. 2, 2022, in T...
Associated Press

Bowman and Ware to miss Charlotte race with injuries

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — Alex Bowman and Cody Shane Ware will miss this weekend’s NASCAR race because of injuries suffered driving the new Next Gen car. Bowman will miss a second consecutive race with a concussion. Ware said he’s skipping Sunday’s race on The Roval at Charlotte Motor Speedway because his broken right foot can’t […]
16 hours ago
Associated Press

Viewers flock to Weather Channel for Hurricane Ian coverage

NEW YORK (AP) — The Weather Channel reached its biggest audience in five years last week when Hurricane Ian made its destructive landfall in western Florida. The average audience of 3.4 million people last Wednesday was more than any other day for the network since Hurricane Harvey deluged Texas with record amounts of rainfall in […]
16 hours ago
Grounds crew members place a tarp over the infield at Oriole Park at Camden Yards during a rain del...
Associated Press

Blue Jays-Orioles game rained out, doubleheader on Wednesday

BALTIMORE (AP) — The Baltimore Orioles and Toronto Blue Jays were rained out Tuesday night and are scheduled to play a doubleheader Wednesday to end the regular season. There is little significance to these last two games. The Blue Jays have clinched the top wild card in the American League, and the Orioles are assured […]
16 hours ago
New York Yankees' Aaron Judge ducks down while leading off from third base during eighth inning in ...
Associated Press

Judge shows frustration, still 61 homers with 2 games left

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Aaron Judge slammed his helmet in a rare show of frustration. The New York Yankees slugger is running out of time to hit his 62nd homer. Judge’s homerless streak extended to five games since matching Roger Maris’ 61 for the American League record, with No. 99 not coming close to clearing […]
16 hours ago
FILE - Portland Thorns fans hold signs during the first half of the team's NWSL soccer match agains...
Associated Press

Thorns owner Paulson steps away after damning abuse report

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland Thorns owner Merritt Paulson has removed himself from a decision-making role with the National Women’s Soccer League club until the findings are released from an ongoing investigation into numerous scandals around the league. Paulson, who is also the owner of Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers, announced his decision in a […]
16 hours ago
Philadelphia Phillies' Kyle Schwarber celebrates after the Phillies won a baseball game against the...
Associated Press

Third wild card creates opportunity for another playoff team

The Philadelphia Phillies grabbed baseball’s last playoff ticket on Monday, and Bryce Harper and company partied into the night. ” We’re in! We did it! We did it! ” slugger Rhys Hoskins yelled as the celebration kicked into high gear. It’s the first playoff appearance for Philly since 2011, and no one seemed to care […]
16 hours ago
Villanova breezes past Delaware 80-60 in NCAA 1st round