Defending national champion Villanova, led by a 20-point performance from Harold Jensen, held off a late Virginia Tech surge for a 71-62 victory Thursday in the first round of the NCAA Southeast Regional basketball tournament at Baton Rouge, La.
Jensen and Kenny Wilson led early scoring spurts of 8-2 and 14-2 as Villanova, making its seventh straight NCAA tournament appearance, took a 27-10 lead 11 minutes into the game.
Leading, 34-22, at intermission, the Wildcats had a 19-point lead before Bobby Beecher sparked a 10-2 Tech spurt that made it 50-39.
The Hokies came within eight points several times late in the half, but could get no closer.
Villanova is 23-13. Virginia Tech, the third-place team from the Metro Conference, ended its season at 22-9.
Villanova advances to the second round Saturday against Georgia Tech, which beat Marist, 68-53. In the other Southeast regional game Saturday, Memphis State, a 95-63 winner over Ball State, will play Louisiana State, which defeated Purdue, 94-87, in double overtime.
In addition to Jensen's 20 points, Villanova got 17 from Harold Pressley, 11 from Wilson and Doug West, and 10 from Mark Plansky.
Keith Colbert paced the Hokies with 21, while Beecher scored 15 and Dell Curry finished with 12, half his season average, hitting just 4 of 12 shots.
Georgia Tech 68, Marist 53--Long-range shooter Mark Price led a 12-0 scoring surge over a four-minute span of the second half to lead the sixth-ranked Yellow Jackets past the unexpectedly tough Red Foxes at Baton Rouge. La.
Price finished with 20 points, while Marist's 7-3 sophomore, Rik Smits, led all scorers with 22 before fouling out with 7:39 left. Drafton Davis added 12 for Marist (19-12).
Memphis State 95, Ball State 63--The Tigers overcame a cold-shooting first half before rolling over the Cardinals behind the inside game of 7-footer William Bedford, who had 16 points, and his powerful front-line teammates.
Forward Baskerville Holmes had 14 points and led the aggressive defense that shut down Ball State's inside scoring game and limited Dan Palombizio to 17 points. Palombizio averaged over 20 points a game for Ball State (21-10).
Vincent Askew, with 23 points, led the scoring for Memphis State (28-5), bidding for a fifth straight trip to the round of 16.
Louisiana State 94, Purdue 87 (OT)--Anthony Wilson scored 11 points in the second overtime period to lift the Tigers (23-11) over the Boilermakers (22-10) at Baton Rouge, La.
The Tigers went into the second period of extended play tied, 73-73. Wilson scored two quick baskets and seven free throws in the last 16 seconds to finish the 2 1/2-hour marathon.
The game went into the first overtime period, 69-69, after Purdue's Troy Lewis missed from 22 feet with four seconds remaining. The second overtime was forced when LSU guard Derrick Taylor stole a last-second pass and hurled it astray from midcourt.
Wilson scored a total of 25 points, eight in a five-minute span late in regulation time.