WKU comes up short in upset bid against #5 Villanova, Toppers fall 66-58

WKU comes up short in upset bid against #5 Villanova, Toppers fall 66-58

PARADISE ISLAND, Bahamas (AP) - Jalen Brunson scored 18 points to help No. 5 Villanova beat Western Kentucky 66-58 in Wednesday's opening round of the Battle 4 Atlantis.
    
The Wildcats (4-0) found themselves in a close game until early in the second half. That's when they ran off a 13-2 burst to push ahead by double figures, part of a hot-shooting stretch that had them picking up the pace and scoring off turnovers.
    
Villanova made 15 of 24 shots (63 percent) after halftime after shooting just 33 percent to lead 27-24 at the break. The Wildcats also got a spark from sophomore Donte DiVincenzo, who scored 12 of his 14 points in the second half. He finished a tough layup through contact for a three-point play at the 5:11 mark.
    
Villanova led by 18 points late.
    
Darius Thompson scored 16 points for the Hilltoppers (2-2), who shot 44 percent.
    
BIG PICTURE
    
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers kept Villanova close through the first half and trailed just 34-33 early in the second before the Wildcats started rolling. Still, the Hilltoppers fell to 1-13 in their last 14 games against ranked opponents.
    
Villanova: The Wildcats came in putting up big offensive numbers, including two straight 100-point outputs. They didn't find that same roll here, though they ultimately built a big lead and cruised to the final horn. Mikal Bridges also stayed hot, too, scoring 17 points to go with eight rebounds.
    
UP NEXT
    
Western Kentucky: The Hilltoppers will face No. 18 Purdue in Thursday's consolation bracket.
    
Villanova: The Wildcats advanced to play Tennessee on Thursday.
    
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