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Burton and Bamba lead No. 21 Villanova to 57-40 rout of Maryland

By AP | Nov 18, 2023

Villanova's Jordan Longino (15) drives past Maryland's Jordan Geronimo during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Friday, Nov. 17, 2023, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Tyler Burton scored 10 of his 15 points in Villanova’s dominant first half, and the 21st-ranked Wildcats rolled to a 57-40 victory over cold-shooting Maryland on Friday night.

TJ Bamba added 11 points as the Wildcats (3-1) rebounded nicely from Monday’s loss to unranked Penn.

“I loved our effort and intensity, especially at the start of the game,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said. “I loved our attention to detail.”

Julian Reese had 10 points for Maryland (1-3), which dropped its third straight. The Terrapins finished with just 12 field goals while shooting 24% from the field.

“I’m searching and I’m failing miserably,” coach Kevin Willard said.

After hitting 27% from long range against the Quakers, Villanova found its stroke from deep early and often against Maryland.

Bamba opened the game by draining a 3-pointer, Burton followed with another one 49 seconds later and the Wildcats were on their way to a convincing victory. Villanova finished the opening half ahead 39-15 after making 13 of 21 shots, including 6 of 11 3-pointers.

“That was great,” Burton said of the start. “But our focus was on the defensive end, locking the person down, taking the matchup serious, following the game plan, being aggressive and setting the tone.”

Maryland couldn’t find the net, missing 23 of 27 attempts and 12 of 14 from long range in the opening 20 minutes. The Terrapins had as many turnovers (four) as field goals entering the break. They ended the game 12 for 50 from the field and 5 of 26 from 3-point territory.

The Wildcats led by as many as 32 in the second half.

As if adding insult to injury, highlights of the blowout played in the background as Willard was addressing reporters after the game.

“I don’t think we need to have this on,” he cracked.

Someone turned off the television. Willard, who frequently coached against the Wildcats during 12 seasons at Big East rival Seton Hall, quipped: “First time someone at Villanova has ever done something nice to me.”


Villanova honored two-time national champion Mikal Bridges by retiring his jersey in a halftime ceremony. Bridges, a current member of the Brooklyn Nets who has had a successful NBA career since leaving Villanova in 2018, was elated to be back on campus.

“It’s really special,” he said. “Just blessed, honestly.”

Neptune said Bridges was in the Villanova locker room before the game.

“We definitely felt his presence,” Neptune said.


Maryland: After starting 8-0 and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament last season, the Terrapins have much work to do to get back to that level. They can start building confidence with three straight winnable home games against UMBC, South Alabama and Rider, before a visit to Indiana on Dec. 1 in their Big Ten opener.

Villanova: The Wildcats might slip out of the AP Top 25 after the loss to Penn, but could return with a promising showing at the Battle 4 Atlantis next week in the Bahamas.


Maryland: Will host UMBC on Tuesday night.

Villanova: Will face Texas Tech in the Battle 4 Atlantis opener Wednesday afternoon.


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AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-basketball-poll and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball