No. 6 Villanova 76, Boston College 71
NEWTON, Mass. (AP) _ Eric Eberz scored 25 points and Alvin Williams had 24 on Tuesday night as No. 6 Villanova showed it could win without Kerry Kittles by beating Boston College 76-71.
Williams hit a 3-pointer with 61 seconds left to protect a one-point lead, then made 6-of-8 free throws in the last 24 seconds. The Wildcats (24-4, 14-3 Big East) beat BC for the sixth consecutive time and improved to 1-1 since Kittles was suspended for charging $3,100 in unauthorized calls to a university credit card.
Danya Abrams scored 18 points and Scoonie Penn had 17 for Boston College (16-9, 9-8), which lost its third in a row for first time this season.
Williams’ 3-pointer gave Villanova a 68-64 lead, and the Wildcats led 74-71 with 3.3 seconds and BC trying to put the ball in play under the far basket.
Eberz stole the inbounds pass, but walked out of bounds with it. BC had another chance with 2.3 seconds left and the ball at midcourt, but Antonio Granger stepped on the line trying to pass the ball in.
Kittles’ suspension was thought to bode well for the Eagles, who had seen him average 35 points, seven rebounds, nearly four assists and three steals in his last three regular-season games against them. He shot 67 percent from the floor in those games.
But BC, fighting for an at-large berth in the NCAA tournament, couldn’t take full advantage of Kittles’ absence.
Villanova scored 15 of the first 19 points and led for all of the first half. BC tied it 43-all with 13:47 left on consecutive 3-pointers from Andy Bedard and Penn.
It was tied at 51, 53 and 55 before Williams scored four consecutive points for Villanova. The Wildcats led 63-60 when Bevan Thomas scored on a drive and Abrams made a layup to give BC its first lead of the night, 64-63, with three minutes to go.
That’s when Eberz hit a foul-line jumper to restore the Wildcats’ lead. It stayed 65-64 until Williams hit a 3-pointer with two seconds on the shot clock and 61 seconds left in the game.