No. 5 Villanova 62, Butler 54
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ It’s been two non-impressive wins for No. 5 Villanova and two impressive performances for senior guard Alvin Williams.
Williams scored 17 points and Chuck Kornegay added nine points and 12 rebounds as the Wildcats beat Butler 62-54 Saturday night in the Puerto Rico Shootout.
Villanova (2-0) struggled in its opener, a 68-62 victory over Division II American University of Puerto Rico. Williams led the Wildcats in that game with 20 points, including the 3-pointer that broke a 59-59 tie with 1:49 to play.
``We are just starting to play like a team,″ Villanova coach Steve Lappas said. ``We still need to play many more games before Villanova is performing at the level of the fifth-ranked team in the country.″
The Wildcats (2-0) led 48-39 with 7:47 to play after holding Butler (2-1) scoreless for four minutes. The Bulldogs did close within 52-50 with 3:16 left, but Villanova was able to pull away by making free throws down the stretch.
Jason Lawson and freshman Tim Thomas each had eight points for the Wildcats.
Jon Neuhouser had 18 points to lead the Bulldogs, who made just one of 18 3-point attempts, while Wilson Kelsey added 12 points and Rolf Van Rijn had 10.
Villanova took the lead for good with 5:20 left in the first half when Kornegay made two free throws for a 24-22 lead. The Wildcats led 31-27 at halftime.
Despite the close games Lappas used 12 players in the opener and 10 against Butler.
``This is the time to give playing time to the younger players now that the season is just beginning,″ he said.