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Marshall basketball: Villanova pulls away late from Scarver, Herd

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Villanova freshman Ryan Arcidiacono scored 20 of his game-high 25 points in the first half to lead the Wildcats to an 80-68 victory over Marshall on Sunday.

James Bell added 19 points and Darrun Hilliard contributed 15 for Villanova (2-0).

Arcidiacono had six assists.

Marshall guard D.D. Scarver led the Thundering Herd (1-1) with 22 points.

Dennis Tinnon added 15 points and nine rebounds, while Chris Martin and Elijah Pittman scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.

DeAndre Kane had four points on 2 of 10 shooting, but managed seven assists in the loss.

"I thought Ryan was just great at the point," Villanova Coach Jay Wright said. "I think he came in here from day one knowing exactly what we wanted to do, and he has a very high basketball IQ."

Arcidiacono missed his senior season of high school due to a back injury that required surgery last December. He spent much of last season at Villanova practices and games, and he said that helped him prepare for the jump to college.

"I wish I could have played and everything, but coming to all of these games and seeing the intensity of every practice every game (helped)," he said.

The Thundering Herd got as close as two points twice in the second half, the last coming with exactly 4 minutes left when Chris Martin knocked down a 3-pointer to make it 70-68. But Bell hit a 3-pointer, Hilliard drained two free throws, and Arcidiacono hit one on a 6-0 Wildcats run that gave Villanova the cushion it needed, 76-68 with 55 seconds left. Marshall didn't score in the last four minutes.

"I was really just watching to see what happened," Wright said. "Either they're going to take a lead, or we're going to have the guts to fight through it. I like that we stayed tough. I thought we executed well down the stretch."

Arcidiacono, from nearby Langhorne, Pa., was stellar in the first half when he made 5 of 8 shots from the field, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range.

He also added four assists, including a nifty left-handed pass to Hilliard on a 2-on-1 break that ended with a Hilliard dunk.

Arcidiacono ended 6-for-11 from the field, including 4-for-9 from beyond the arc.

"I felt good shooting the ball in warmups," he said. "The first couple shots went down. Coach just said be aggressive and look for my shot, and luckily they went down."

The Herd will face District of Columbia at 4:30 p.m. Friday in the 2K Sports Classic in Hempstead, N.Y.

Marshall Coach Tom Herrion thought his team gave too many easy looks to the Villanova freshman.

"We did a poor job on (Arcidiacono) early," he said. "That's unacceptable. I know he's a talented player, but we contributed mightily."


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