Villanova 76, Penn State 67
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) _ Tom Greis scored 24 points and Gary Massey 21 to lead Villanova to a 76-67 victory over Penn State in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament Monday night.
Penn State, 20-12, outscored Villanova 20-13 to open the second half and cut the Wildcats’ nine-point lead at halftime to 52-50 on Brian Allen’s 3- pointer with 10:09 left.
But Villanova, 18-15, answered with a 9-2 run and took a 61-52 lead with 5:52 left when Massey stole the ball from Freddie Barnes and went the length of the floor for a dunk.
Coach Rollie Massimino called for a slowdown with just less than three minutes left, and Kenny Wilson connected on a 3-pointer with three seconds remaining on the shot clock to put the Wildcats in front 67-60 with two minutes to go.
Penn State came no closer than five points in the final two minutes as Villanova made nine of 10 from the free throw line.
Barnes scored 16 points and Tom Hovasse and Allen each had 12 for Penn State, which has never won 21 games in a season.
Doug West added 17 points for Villanova.
With the score tied at 2, Villanova made six of seven field goals and scored 15 straight points to take a 17-2 lead 5:17 into the half.
Greis, Villanova’s 7-foot-3 center, scored seven points and blocked a shot during the run, while Penn State turned the ball over four times, missed two shots and was called for an offensive foul.
Greis came out with 9:20 to go in the half when he picked up his second foul, and Penn State responded with a 15-4 run. A baseline jumper by Allen cut the Villanova lead to 32-27 with 3:55 left in the half.
Villanova lead 39-30 at halftime.