Bruins Bounced By Villanova

March 21, 2009

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Dante Cunningham scored 18 points Saturday, helping Villanova reach the round of 16 for the fourth time in five years with an 89-69 victory over UCLA that ended the Bruins' bid for a fourth straight Final Four appearance.

Corey Fisher and Reggie Redding each had 13 points for the third-seeded Wildcats (28-7), who will play the Texas-Duke winner in the East Region semifinals in Boston.

Josh Shipp led UCLA with 18 points and Darren Collison had 15. It's the earliest exit for the sixth-seeded Bruins (26-9) since a first-round loss in the 2005 NCAA tournament.

Backed by a raucous, hometown crowd at their off-campus home, Villanova jumped on UCLA early and hardly let up. A 19-2 run that started five minutes in put the Wildcats ahead 28-11 before the midpoint of the first half.

When Corey Stokes hit a 3-pointer to cap an 11-0 spurt, the building erupted. Even some Texas A&M fans stood and cheered. The Aggies played Connecticut in the second game of the doubleheader.

UCLA finally ended the run after a time-out, but Stokes hit another 3 and Redding nailed one, too. Dwayne Anderson's jam capped the run, giving Villanova a 17-point lead.

The Bruins spent the rest of the half trying unsuccessfully to cut the margin to single digits. Each time it seemed they were inching closer, Villanova answered with a big shot.

Scottie Reynolds hit a 3 for his first basket, ending a mini-run. Then, Fisher threw a perfect pass underneath to Shane Clark for an easy dunk that gave the Wildcats their biggest lead of the half, 38-19.

UCLA scored the next seven points, but Reynolds answered with another 3 after two offensive rebounds following long misses by the Wildcats. That possession clearly illustrated Villanova's toughness inside. The `Cats then smothered UCLA at the opposite end, forcing a poor shot that missed as the shot clock expired.

The combination of tight defense, physical play and excellent shooting was too much for UCLA. Villanova led 44-31 at halftime, and it turned into a rout in the second half with the Wildcats leading by 25 at one point. By then, Massimino finally leaned back in his seat, put his arm around the empty chair next to him and soaked it in.

Massimino coached Villanova to an upset victory over Georgetown in the 1985 national championship game. He gave current coach Jay Wright a big hug shortly before tip-off and enthusiastically watched from his second-row seat.

Perhaps Massimino passed on some of that magic the '85 team had during its unlikely run: The Wildcats tied a school record for most wins in a season, and it was the 100th victory for their senior class.

This was expected to be a close, low-scoring game. Unlike typical Pac-10 teams, UCLA was supposed to compete with Villanova's physical style. After all, Bruins coach Ben Howland came from the same Big East Conference and instilled a defense-first system.

But Villanova dominated UCLA in every facet. The Wildcats had a 39-26 edge in rebounding and forced 20 turnovers.

Villanova not only played like the more talented team, it also had a real home-court advantage. The Wildcats play some of their regular-season games at the Wachovia Center, a short distance from their pristine, suburban campus.

There were some sections of neutral fans and a contingent of Bruins supporters, but an overwhelming majority wore navy and rooted hard for their beloved `Cats.

The schools hadn't met in the postseason since the 1971 national title game. John Wooden's Bruins beat the underdog Villanova 68-62. Jack Kraft, who coached those Wildcats, also watched this one from the stands along with a few members of that team.

UCLA Health Sponsor - Event Information
Sunday, Nov 15
vs. Cal Poly
Los Angeles, CA
W, 88 - 83
Thursday, Nov 19
vs. Pepperdine
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 67
Monday, Nov 23
vs. UNLV
Lahaina, HI
W, 77 - 75
Tuesday, Nov 24
vs. Kansas
Lahaina, HI
L, 73 - 92
Wednesday, Nov 25
vs. Wake Forest
Lahaina, HI
L, 77 - 80
Sunday, Nov 29
vs. CSUN
Los Angeles, CA
W, 77 - 45
Thursday, Dec 03
vs. Kentucky
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 77
Sunday, Dec 06
vs. Long Beach State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 76
Saturday, Dec 12
at Gonzaga
Spokane, WA
W, 71 - 66
Tuesday, Dec 15
vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
Los Angeles, CA
W, 89 - 80
Saturday, Dec 19
vs. North Carolina
Brooklyn, NY
L, 76 - 89
Tuesday, Dec 22
vs. McNeese State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 67 - 53
Friday, Jan 01
at Washington
Seattle, WA
L, 93 - 96 (2OT)
Sunday, Jan 03
at Washington State
Pullman, WA
L, 78 - 85
Thursday, Jan 07
vs. Arizona
Los Angeles, CA
W, 87 - 84
Saturday, Jan 09
vs. Arizona State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 81 - 74
Wednesday, Jan 13
vs. USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 75 - 89
Wednesday, Jan 20
at Oregon State
Corvallis, OR
W, 82 - 73
Saturday, Jan 23
at Oregon
Eugene, OR
L, 72 - 86
Thursday, Jan 28
vs. Washington
Los Angeles, CA
L, 84 - 86
Saturday, Jan 30
vs. Washington State
Los Angeles, CA
W, 83 - 50
Thursday, Feb 04
at USC
Los Angeles, CA
L, 61 - 80
Friday, Feb 12
at Arizona
Tucson, AZ
L, 75 - 81
Sunday, Feb 14 - 5:30 PM PST
at Arizona State
Tempe, AZ
Thursday, Feb 18 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. Utah
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Feb 20 - 8:00 PM PST
vs. Colorado
Los Angeles, CA
Thursday, Feb 25 - 6:00 PM PST
at California
Berkeley, CA
Saturday, Feb 27 - 1:30 PM PST
at Stanford
Stanford, CA
Wednesday, Mar 02 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. Oregon
Los Angeles, CA
Saturday, Mar 05 - 3:30 PM PST
vs. Oregon State
Los Angeles, CA
Wednesday, Mar 09 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Thursday, Mar 10 - All Day PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 6:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Friday, Mar 11 - 8:30 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Saturday, Mar 12 - 7:00 PM PST
vs. 2016 Pac-12 Men's ...
Las Vegas, NV
Tuesday, Mar 15 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Four
Dayton, OH
Thursday, Mar 17 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA First Round
Saturday, Mar 19 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Second Round
Thursday, Mar 24 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
Saturday, Mar 26 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA Regional ...
Saturday, Apr 02 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX
Monday, Apr 04 - All Day PST
vs. NCAA National ...
Houston, TX