INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Villanova found a way to advance in the NCAA Tournament without Collin Gillespie.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 22 points and 12 rebounds, and the fifth-seeded Wildcats pulled away in the second half for a 73-63 victory over 12th-seeded Winthrop in the South Region on Friday night.
Villanova had lost both games since senior point guard and Big East co-player of the year Gillespie tore a ligament in his left knee during the Wildcats’ victory over then-No. 14 Creighton on March 3.
But Robinson-Earl delivered when the Wildcats needed him, making four free throws that launched a 9-0 run to give Villanova its biggest lead at 60-47. The Wildcats will face 13th-seeded North Texas in the second round on Sunday.
D.J. Burns Jr. led Winthrop with 12 points.