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Ray, Foye lead Villanova past Bucknell

LEWISBURG, Pa. (AP) -- With a hostile crowd breaking into cheers
after Villanova's 19-point lead over Bucknell was trimmed to three,
Wildcats coach Jay Wright called a timeout and looked for someone
to step up.

Allen Ray answered with some big 3-pointers.

After being held to just two points in the first half, Ray hit
two 3-pointers to turn away one second-half surge, then hit two
more timely 3s to help No. 4 Villanova beat Bucknell 79-60 on
Tuesday night.

Randy Foye led Villanova with 28 points and 11 rebounds.

"That's the advantage of having seniors, we know that Randy and
Allen are going to make those big plays when we need them," Wright
said.

It was a much-anticipated matchup at Bucknell, a small, private
school which made headlines after upsetting Pittsburgh and scoring
its shocking win in the NCAA Tournament over Kansas last season.
This year, the Bison have already beaten Syracuse at the Carrier
Dome and defeated DePaul in Chicago last Saturday.

There would be no upset on Tuesday, however, as Ray, Foye and
Villanova's four-guard lineup proved too much for Bucknell.

Bucknell's Abe Badmus was able to slice through the Villanova
defense for several end-to-end layups, but the guard said his team
had to deal with too many talented Wildcats.

"There were just a lot more quick people on the same team," he
said.

The Bison did make it interesting after cutting an early 26-7
deficit to 44-41 early in the second half behind a four-point play
from Kevin Bettencourt and two inside buckets by center Chris
McNaughton.

Ray, who was held to two points in the first half, then took
over. He made a 3-pointer from the left corner, Jason Fraser added
two free throws and Ray then hit an off-balance 3-pointer to extend
the lead to 52-43.

McNaughton, who led the Bison with a career-high 29 points, cut
the lead to 54-48 with about 10 minutes left after completing a
three-point play that had the fans clad in orange and blue
cheering.

Ray answered again, hitting two 3-pointers in a 31-second span
before finding Foye for a layup to give the Wildcats a 64-48 lead
and quieting the crowd.

Villanova also forced eight of Bucknell's 12 turnovers in the
second half and Ray said the team was determined to be more
aggressive on defense after halftime.

"With 10 minutes to go, we felt like we had the game,"
Bucknell coach Pat Flannery said. "But we learned what that kind
of speed is. You cannot simulate how quick they are."

A capacity crowd of 4,000 at Sojka Pavilion, including several
students who went shirtless and painted their chests orange and
blue, were loud most of the evening, hoping that their team could
topple another ranked team.

The game served as a homecoming for Wright, who, like Flannery,
is a Bucknell graduate and played basketball there. Several fans
near Villanova's bench waved placards with pictures of Wright's
smiling face from his college days.

"This was a great college atmosphere," Wright said. "I had
mixed feelings coming into the gym."

Foye helped Villanova race to its 26-7 lead in the first half
after hitting some deep 3-pointers. One came after Villanova
grabbed two offensive boards before the guard finally hit a 3 from
the wing.

The Wildcats' quickness also helped on the boards, as they
outrebounded Bucknell 37-21 and got several second and third
chances after some missed shots.

While Bucknell had been holding opponents to 37 shooting coming
into the night, the Wildcats hit 50 percent of their shots.