Villanova blows out Blue Devils

Staff WriterMarch 26, 2009 

The Big East is guaranteed one spot in the Final Four. After Villanova's romp of Duke on Thursday in the East Regional, it's just a question of which Big East team will advance to Detroit.

Villanova hit nine of its first 12 shots of the second half to break open a three-point halftime lead and bury the cold-shooting Blue Devils. The Wildcats squashed Duke 77-54 to set up a matchup with Pittsburgh in the regional final on Saturday.

Nova's aggressive defense, a mix of man and a three-quarter trap, reduced Duke's trio of Jon Scheyer, Kyle Singler and Gerald Henderson to the "Little Three."

Henderson, Duke's leading scorer, missed his first 11 shots from the field and finished 1 of 14 with seven points. The junior wing didn't score until hitting two free throws with 1:10 left in the first half.

He wasn't the only Duke player who couldn't shoot. The Blue Devils made only 5 of 25 from 3-point range and 16 of 58 from the field.

Reggie Redding's 3-pointer at 8:44 pushed Nova's advantage to 56-40.

Scheyer responded with a 3 on the next possession but it was a fleeting hope for the Blue Devils who have lost in the round of 16 seven times this decade.

Scheyer finished with 13 points and Singler led the team wth 15. Duke ends the season at 30-7.

Guard Scottie Reynolds led a balanced Nova scoring effort with 16 points.

Pitt (1) beat Xavier (4) 60-55 in the first game, giving the Big East three of the four decided spots in the Elite Eight. The Big East improved to 14-2 in the tournament while the ACC fell to 5-6 with only UNC left.

The Big East still has a shot at all four Final Four spots.

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