Villanova tops WVU
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) -- Scottie Reynolds didn't have any memorable games against West Virginia -- until he got hot against the Mountaineers in the second half Monday night.
The senior guard scored 19 of his 21 points in the final 13 minutes and No. 4 Villanova held off No. 5 West Virginia 82-75.
In the season's first matchup of teams ranked in the top five, the Wildcats (21-2, 10-1) rebounded from a blowout loss at No. 7 Georgetown on Saturday to pull into a first-place tie with No. 2 Syracuse in the competitive Big East.
"You have guys asking where the toughest place to play is, and hands down for me, it's West Virginia," said Reynolds, who had averaged nine points in three previous games against the Mountaineers, including two losses in Morgantown.
"I remember a lot of years here," he said. "It feels good to get one under our belt. It feels good and to do it the way we did it, it feels even better."
Villanova shot 57 percent (29 of 51) from the field and its guard-oriented lineup outrebounded the Mountaineers 38-30.
Leading scorer Da'Sean Butler had his worst performance in three weeks and that haunted West Virginia (19-4, 8-3), which couldn't overcome an 11-point halftime deficit and saw its six-game winning streak snapped. The Mountaineers will have to wait until Friday night at No. 25 Pittsburgh to try for their sixth straight 20-win season.
"You can't expect Da' to get 30 points every game and carry us," West Virginia coach Bob Huggins said. "Our other guys are going to have to do things."
Butler had scored a season-high 33-points as West Virginia rallied from 16 points down in the second half to beat St. John's 79-60 on Saturday. Last season he torched Villanova for a career-high 43 points at home, but the Wildcats' Reggie Redding limited him to 13 points on 2-of-12 shooting Monday night.
"We were really concerned about him," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "In the St. John's game they were down the same way and he just got it going and once he got it going, it was over. Reggie Redding did a really good job on him."
Butler didn't get his first points until a 3-pointer with 8:40 left in the first half and was held without a field goal in the second half.
"We didn't really compete as well as we should've, especially considering the situation and how much the game meant for us," Butler said. "Overall we weren't focused as far as taking advantage of easy shots. It would've been a different situation if we did."