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Gillespie, Robinson-Earl lead No. 10 Villanova past UConn

When the Huskies got close, Villanova always had an answer.
Credit: AP
Connecticut's Isaiah Whaley (5) and Villanova's Brandon Slater (3) leap for a rebound during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

VILLANOVA, Pa. — Collin Gillespie scored 20 points and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 17 points and 11 rebounds to lead No. 10 Villanova to a 68-60 victory over UConn.

Justin Moore added 11 points for the Wildcats (14-3, 9-2 Big East), who clamped down defensively in the second half. James Bouknight, in his second game back after missing eight due to elbow surgery, scored 21 points for the Huskies (10-6, 7-6).

The Wildcats held UConn’s star, Bouknight, to seven points in the second half as the Huskies shot 30% (8 for 27) from the field and committed seven turnovers. It took until 34.7 seconds remained for Bouknight to make a second-half field goal.

A projected first-round NBA draft pick this year, Bouknight had 18 points in 24 minutes in Tuesday’s 73-61 win over Providence in his return. He came out hot, scoring nine of UConn’s first 12 points and ended up with 14 in a competitive opening 20 minutes that ended with the Wildcats ahead 34-32.

The Huskies went up 42-41 on Adama Sanogo’s basket from close range with 14:06 left. Villanova answered with 12 of the next 15 points, taking its biggest lead, 53-45, on Robinson-Earl’s elbow jumper with 7:42 to play.

When the Huskies got close, Villanova always had an answer.

The teams also were supposed to meet in Storrs, Connecticut, in January, but twice had games postponed due to COVID-19 issues.

The Huskies will play Georgetown on Tuesday night.