ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Randy Foye scored 27 points and Allan Ray added 20 as No. 4 Villanova beat Longwood 90-77 Saturday night for its sixth straight win.

The Wildcats (6-0) used 3-point shooting and effective pressure defense to withstand an early challenge, with Foye and Ray scoring from outside and 6-foot-8-inch forward Will Sheridan (13 points) dominating inside.

Michael Jefferson scored 19 and Maurice Sumter 17 to pace Longwood (2-7), a former Division II school from Farmville, Va., that is in the midst of a five-year reclassification to Division I status.

The non-conference game was played at a neutral site, but it wasn’t so neutral. With Villanova’s campus only 78 miles away, the Boardwalk Hall crowd of 7,007 was dominated by its students, alumni and fans.

With guard Mike Nardi pressing the action and Sheridan scoring almost at will, Villanova raced to a 13-3 advantage, its zone traps – which forced 15 first-half turnovers – flustering Longwood and leading to easy baskets.

However, the long shot Lancers hung around. Dana Smith hit a pair of 3-pointers and Michael Jefferson added a jumper to narrow the lead to 29-25. That was as close as Longwood got.

Nardi hit a 3-pointer and a layup to key a 12-5 run as Villanova coasted to a 44-32 halftime lead, with coach Jay Wright substituting liberally even before the outcome was assured.

The second half was all Villanova. The Wildcats, who hit 44 percent from beyond the arc for the night, used 3-pointers from Foye, Ray and Nardi to pull away.

Villanova, which is celebrating the 20-year anniversary of its 1985 NCAA championship, has endured the loss of standout 6-7 forward Curtis Sumpter, who tore his anterior cruciate ligament in practice in October.

But with Foye and Allan’s scoring and Nardi’s playmaking, Villanova has more than compensated – taking a 27.8-point average margin of victory into this game.

The fourth guard, Kyle Lowry, played sparingly and didn’t score as Wright gave early playing time to freshmen Dwayne Anderson and Bilal Benn.

AP-ES-12-10-05 2205EST


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