Villanova 73, Wisconsin-Milwaukee 53: Darrun Hilliard II scored 16 points and JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 points and eight rebounds as the Wildcats cruised past the Panthers in a second-round NCAA tournament game in Buffalo, N.Y.
James Bell collected 12 points and seven rebounds for second-seeded Villanova (29-4), which held Milwaukee to 28.6 percent shooting and advanced to Saturday's third-round game in the East Region against No. 7 seed Connecticut. The Wildcats prevailed despite missing their first 17 shots from 3-point range and finishing 4-for-23 from beyond the arc.
Austin Arians paced No. 15 seed Milwaukee (21-14) with 17 points, including four 3-pointers, and Matt Tiby added 10 points. J.J. Panoske had five points and six rebounds for the Panthers, who earned their first NCAA tournament berth since 2006 after winning the Horizon League tournament title.
Villanova closed the first half on a 9-0 run and led 27-23 at the break, and Milwaukee remained within single digits for much of the second half. Kyle Kelm scored with seven minutes left to cut the deficit to 55-46, but the Wildcats answered with a 13-5 run and led 68-51 on Kris Jenkins' 3-pointer with just over three minutes to play.
Daniel Ochefu had a game-high nine rebounds for Villanova, which recorded 10 blocked shots and outrebounded the Panthers 46-37. Milwaukee guard Jordan Aaron, who missed 14 of his 15 shots from the field and all seven of his 3-point attempts, finished with six points after averaging 20.5 points in four games at the Horizon League tournament.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Villanova, which is 8-of-42 from 3-point range over its last two games, posted its first NCAA tournament win since 2010. ... The Wildcats defeated former Big East rival Connecticut 70-61 last season in Hartford, Conn. ... Kelm scored eight points on 4-of-10 shooting for the Panthers, who missed 18 of their 24 shots from 3-point range.Copyright © 2015, RedEye