Top-seeded Villanova takes care of Mount St. Mary's

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Redshirt freshman Donte DiVincenzo came off the bench to score 21 points and grab a career-high 13 rebounds and defending national champion Villanova shook off a slow start to defeat Mount St. Mary's 75-56 in an NCAA Tournament first-round game Thursday night at KeyBank Center.

The Wildcats, the tournament's No. 1 overall seeded, went scoreless on their first eight possession and didn't take control of the game until the second half when they shot 63 percent with 16 layups and dunks.

Jalen Brunson added 14 points for Villanova, Mikal Bridges scored 13, Josh Hart had 11 and Eric Paschall chipped in 10.

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Mountaineers (20-16), who qualified for the NCAA Tournament by winning the Northeast Conference tournament and defeated New Orleans in a First Four game Tuesday night in Dayton.

Freshman Miles Wilson led Mount St. Mary's with 22 points and seven rebounds. Elijah Long had 10 points.

After struggling at the start, Villanova opened the second half with a greater sense of urgency and used a 21-3 run early to take control of the game. Bridges made consecutive 3-pointers and Hart scored six of his points during the spurt that turned a one-point deficit into a 51-35 lead with 12:25 remaining.

The Wildcats did not score in the first 6:06 of the game and fell behind 10-2 before clawing their way back. They missed their first eight shots and were 5 for 21 before making 7 of 9 in the final seven minutes of the first half.

Kris Jenkins, who made the final shot of last year's NCAA Tournament, missed his first 10 attempts from the field, but hit three free throws to tie the game at 18-18 with 5:44 left in the half. Jenkins then set up Paschall for a dunk that gave Villanova its first lead, 26-25 at 1:23

Brunson scored on a driving layup just before the buzzer to give the Wildcats a 30-29 lead at halftime. Brunson scored 10 points in the first half. Hart sat for 11:23 of the first half after picking up his second foul.

Freshman Miles Wilson led the Mountaineers in the first half with 13 points and five rebounds, exceeding his season averages (11.5 points, 3.8 rebounds) in both categories.

NOTES: Villanova is 11-1 all-time against Mount St. Mary's. The first 11 meetings were all on the Wildcats' home floor. The Mountaineers lone win came in 1957. ... Mount St. Mary's has been a No. 16 seed in all five of its NCAA Tournament appearances. In their first three matchups against No. 1 seeds, the Mountaineers lost by an average of 36 points. All three of those teams (Kentucky in 1995, Michigan State in 1999, and North Carolina in 2008) advanced to the Final Four. ... Mount St. Mary's is 1-29 all-time against ranked opponents, including losses this season at West Virginia, Iowa State and Michigan. ... Hart moved into eighth place on Villanova's all-time single-season scoring list with 11 points, passing Michael Bradley, Howard Porter and Keith Herron during the game.