No. 10 Villanova 87, N.C.-Wilmington 38
Dec. 31, 1996
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) _ At least North Carolina-Wilmington coach Jerry Wainwright kept his sense of humor after his Seahawks were blown away by No. 10 Villanova.
``I'm sure you've all heard about General Custer,'' Wainwright said Monday night after an 87-38 walloping in the first meeting ever between the schools.
Villanova (10-1) had five players score in double figures and led by as many as 41 points midway through the second half.
Tim Thomas and Alvin Williams each had 14 points for Villanova, which finished with a 43-21 rebounding edge against the smaller Seahawks (5-7).
``I think we're starting to come together,'' said Williams, the team's senior point guard who scored his 1,000th point in the game. ``We've got a lot of young players and it's taken us some time to mesh.''
Villanova coach Steve Lappas agreed.
``Our chemistry is getting a lot better and it seems like we are finding our stride before the Big East starts,'' Lappas said. The Wildcats resume conference play Thursday at home against Seton Hall.
Villanova was 34-of-59 from the field (58 percent) and had 20 assists, compared to only six for the Seahawks.
``We have to continue to work on our motion offense, and I thought we did that very well tonight,'' Lappas said. ``I'm happy with the way we played.''
Jason Lawson added 11 points and 10 rebounds for Villanova and said the team has been concentrating on playing tough defense.
``The coaches have stressed defense and we take pride in playing it,'' he said. ``When we play good defense, it helps our offense.''
Wilmington, which was 15-of-51 from the field (29 percent), was led by Oleg Kojenets' 12 points.
Villanova trailed 5-4 before scoring 11 straight points and building a 32-12 lead. They then ran off 17 straight points on their way to a 46-14 halftime lead. The lead reached 68-27 on a 3-pointer by freshman Brian Lynch with 9:31 left in the game.
``We've seen some good teams this season. We've been all over the country. But there is no question that Villanova is the best we've seen,'' Wainwright said. ``They play great defense and they look for each other.
``They just overpowered us, and it was very difficult for us to score inside. They should go a long way in the NCAA tournament.''