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story.lead_photo.caption Villanova's Jalen Brunson (1) drives to the basket against Temple's Quinton Rose (13) and Josh Brown (1) during the first half an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 13, 2017, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Michael Perez)



PHILADELPHIA -- Jalen Brunson helped Villanova continue its remarkable reign of Philadelphia.

Brunson had 22 of his career-high 31 points in No. 1 Villanova's dominating first half and Omari Spellman scored 27 to help lead the Wildcats to an 87-67 rout of Temple on Wednesday night.

"He was incredible," Villanova Coach Jay Wright said of Brunson.

Donte DiVincenzo added 12 points for Villanova (11-0), which won its unprecedented 22nd consecutive Big 5 game.

The Wildcats, who moved into the top spot in the rankings for the third consecutive season this week, looked like the best team in the country in a dominating opening 20 minutes.

With his dad Rick -- a former Temple standout and current assistant coach of the Minnesota Timberwolves who played nine seasons in the NBA -- sitting two rows behind the Villanova bench, Brunson led the way.

The 6-foot-2 junior point guard made 8 of 10 shots, including 5 of 7 three-pointers, and added 4 assists while controlling the opening 20 minutes.

"I try to keep the same mindset, try to set the tone defensively and play my game, be aggressive, try to be a killer," Brunson said. "Today was one of those nights."

Brunson didn't know his dad was making the trip. Rick Brunson coached the host Timberwolves against the 76ers on Tuesday night and will fly home early today for tonight's game against the Kings. He said he is glad he squeezed in the trip to see his son.

"I thought he came out and set a tone and the rest of the team followed," Rick Brunson said. "As long as you compete, play hard and get a win, I'm happy."

Jalen Brunson added 6 rebounds and 5 assists and ended 11 for 16 from the field and 6 for 10 from beyond the arc in 38 turnover-free minutes.

The performance surely impressed Philadelphia 76ers Coach Brett Brown and Rookie of the Year candidate Ben Simmons, who were among the sellout crowd of 10,206 at Temple.

Owls Coach Fran Dunphy also had high praise.

"He was just spectacular," Dunphy said. "He's just terrific, plays with a great pace, so smart, great toughness. His efficiency is ridiculous."

Quinton Rose scored 27 points for the Owls (6-3), who began the week at No. 11 in the RPI rankings. It was the third consecutive season Temple played Villanova as a No. 1, and the Owls fell to 2-18 all-time against No. 1-ranked opponents.

The Temple student section was fired up in the pregame, hoping to help the Owls end Villanova's Philadelphia dominance, but the Wildcats gave them little for which to cheer.

"You can't make a mistake," Dunphy said. "When you do, they take great advantage of it."

The Wildcats scored the first 7 points as Temple came out cold, missing its first 5 shots and committing 3 turnovers.

And Villanova went from there.

The Wildcats took their biggest lead of the half on DiVincenzo's three-pointer that made it 25-5 with 11 minutes left before the break. And the lead reached 20 again on Brunson's three-pointer that made it 28-8 44 seconds later.

Temple rallied by scoring the next 13 points over 3 1/2 minutes to pull within 28-21 on Josh Brown's jumper with 6:45 left before the break.

But Villanova continued making shots and Brunson, appropriately, finished the first-half scoring with a three-pointer with 47 seconds left that gave the Wildcats a 46-29 lead.

Villanova shot 59 percent from the field and 50 percent from the arc in the opening 20 minutes.

The second half was a mere formality.


COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Tyler Davis recorded 17 rebounds and 14 points and No. 9 Texas A&M had seven players with 10 or more points while rolling over Savannah State. D.J. Hogg led the balanced scoring for the Aggies (9-1) with 18 points. Davis overpowered the smaller Tigers (3-8) near the basket on 5-of-9 shooting. Javaris Jenkins led Savannah State of the MEAC with 18 points. The Tigers, who lead the country in three-point attempts, fired 40 shots from beyond the arc, making 12.


LUBBOCK, Texas — Keenan Evans scored 16 points and No. 24 Texas Tech defeated Kennesaw State for its first victory as a ranked team in eight years. Texas Tech (8-1) rolled to a 42-19 halftime lead, holding the Owls to 4-of-19 shooting and outrebounding them 26-10. Kennesaw State (1-8) shot 33 percent for the game. Tommy Hamilton IV and Zach Smith scored 11 points each and Justin Gray added 10 for the Red Raiders. James Scott scored 19 points for the Owls and Tyler Hooker had 14, going 9 of 11 on free throws.




Arkansas State University (3-7) fought back from a 19-point second-half deficit to take a late one-point lead but couldn’t hang on in falling to Nebraska-Omaha (2-10) at Baxter Arena in Omaha, Neb. The Red Wolves were down 54-35 with 14:35 left in the game before going on a 35-15 run, capped by Salif Boudie’s layup with 2:29 remaining that gave them a 70-69 lead. The Mavericks went back up by three, 73-70, before ASU took its final lead, 74-73, on Grantham Gillard’s layup with under a minute to play.

The Mavericks then closed the game on a 4-0 run.

Ty Cockfield led the Red Wolves with 23 points on 11-of-18 shooting from the field. Deven Simms had 12 points and Tamas Bruce chipped in 10 for ASU, which shot 50 percent (30 of 60) from the field.

Zach Jackson led the Mavericks with 22 points, with JT Gibson adding 14 more.


Bradley (8-2) shot 60.8 percent (31 of 51) from the field on its way to a 40-point drubbing of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock (2-8) at Carver Arena in Peoria, Ill. The Braves dominated in every area and led for the entire game. Their largest lead was 45 points (81-36) with 4:45 left in the game.

The Trojans shot 35.6 percent (16 of 45) from the field, including 36.0 percent (9 of 25) on three-pointers. The Braves made 10 of 21 (47.6 percent) of their attempts. Bradley forced 20 UALR turnovers and converted them into 26 points.

Cameron Corcoran led UALR with 14 points in 18 minutes of play. Jaizec Lottie added 12 points for the Trojans.

Donte Thomas had 12 points to lead the Braves, who had three players finish with 11 points.




Fresno State (9-2) started the second half on an 18-4 run and never looked back in its victory over the University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff (0-11) at Save Mart Center in Fresno, Calif.

The Bulldogs led 38-25 at halftime before beginning the second half on its 14-point spree to lead 56-29 with 13 minutes left. Fresno State eventually built its advantage as high as 30 points, 78-48, on a Nate Grimes free throw with 3 minutes remaining.

Fresno State shot 54.9 percent (28 of 51) from the field, including 43.5 percent (10 of 23) on three-pointers.

UAPB, which trailed 38-25 at halftime, was 39.6 percent (21 of 53) from the field, including 23.5 percent (4 of 17) from three-point range.

Fresno State had four players in double figures, led by Sam Bittner’s 15 points. UAPB’s Martaveous McKnight led all scorers with 16 points.

Sports on 12/14/2017

Print Headline: Villanova routs frozen Temple

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