EditorsNote: resent with minor tweaks
Shooting 56 percent from the field in the second half, Villanova pulled away in the final two minutes Sunday to subdue No. 14 Florida State 66-60 and win the Advocare Invitational in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Freshman guard Collin Gillespie canned 7 of 11 shots and scored a game-high 17 points for the Wildcats (5-2), who may have played their way back into the Top 25 after consecutive losses last week to Michigan and Furman.
Eric Paschall and Phil Booth added 15 and 12, respectively, for Villanova. Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree chipped in 11 points and eight rebounds before fouling out in the final minute.
Mfiondu Kabengele and Trent Forrest paced the balanced Seminoles (5-1) with 11 points each. Ten players scored for Florida State, but it made only 43.1 percent of its field-goal attempts and was just 3 of 12 on 3-pointers.
Tied at 54 after Kabengele’s 3-point play with 3:11 left, the Wildcats scored seven straight points. Booth made a free throw, Cosby-Roundtree converted a layup, Saddiq Bey sank a jumper in the lane and then added two foul shots with 42 seconds left.
The Seminoles pulled within 62-60 on a layup by Forrest with 13.6 seconds left, but Gilliespie canned two foul shots with 11.2 ticks on the clock to ice it.
The main storyline in a tightly-contested first half was Florida State’s defensive strategy. The Seminoles were bound and determined to run Villanova off the 3-point line after watching the Wildcats hoist 40 3-pointers in a Friday semifinal win over Oklahoma State.
After giving up two 3s in the first 4:03 as Villanova raced out to a 10-2 lead, Florida State didn’t permit another 3-ball for the first half’s remainder while gradually erasing the early deficit. It rattled off eight straight points to tie the game at 12 on David Nichols’ jumper with 11:27 left.
Neither team led by more than three points for the rest of the half with the Wildcats carrying a 26-25 edge to the locker room despite Nichols’ lane jumper as time expired.
—Field Level Media