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Villanova 92, Boston College 89

1/14/2004

BOSTON (AP) -- Villanova's Allen Ray was left alone, so he just
kept hitting 3-pointers.

Ray hit four 3-pointers in a 3:58 second-half stretch and
finished with 23 points to spark Villanova's hot outside shooting
Wednesday night, leading the Wildcats to a 92-89 win over Boston
College.

Ray was 5 for 6 from behind the arc in the second half after
missing his two attempts in the opening half. The Wildcats were 9
for 10 in the second half from 3-point range and 14 for 20 overall.

"I was surprised they were leaving me open," Ray said of his
key stretch. "That's what made me want the ball more. They kind of
backed off me."

The weak defensive play had BC coach Al Skinner upset.

"Just the fact that they shot the ball so well from the 3-point
line was a sign that they felt way too comfortable," Skinner said.
"We've got to make guys feel a little more uncomfortable in the
offensive end."

Mike Nardi led Villanova with 24 points and Andreas Bloch had
12. The Wildcats (9-5, 1-1 Big East) snapped a three-game losing
streak.

Craig Smith scored 21 points and grabbed six rebounds for BC
before fouling out. Jared Dudley had 19 points for the Eagles
(11-4, 1-2).

The Wildcats, who were outscored from the free-throw line 31-12,
simply relied on their outside shooting when they needed to hold
off the Eagles.

"We just kept coming back after every big shot they had,"
Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "There was a stretch there where
Allen took over."

Villanova opened a 50-36 lead on Ray's 3-pointer with 17:25 to
go in the game, but the Eagles cut it to 57-54 on Sean Marshall's
baseline jumper with just over 12 minutes left. The basket capped
BC's 18-4 run.

That's when Ray started his 3-point barrage.

He nailed his first from the top of the key on the ensuing
possession and followed with one from the left corner 40 seconds
later. After BC's Smith scored on a put-back, Ray hit a 3-pointer
from the left corner to make it 66-56. Ray hit another 3 from the
right corner before Bloch's consecutive 3-point baskets pushed the
Wildcats' lead to 80-63 with 5:45 to play.

"I was kind of in one of those (zones) there," Ray said.

When Ray wasn't nailing 3s from the outside, Nardi was
penetrating and setting up easy baskets inside.

"He had a good matchup with a freshman guard," Wright said.
"We were going to get it to him to make plays."

BC made a late charge, closing it to 84-79 on Uka Agbai's basket
with just under two minutes left, but couldn't get any closer.

"We've shown that when there's a certain sense of urgency, guys
respond," Skinner said. "The thing is we don't need to put
ourselves in that spot."

The Wildcats had a 13-point lead twice in the first half and led
41-30 at intermission.