No. 5 Villanova Tops UNI For Atlantis Championship
Fifth-ranked Villanova used an 8-0 run down the stretch to pull away from the upset-minded UNI Panthers and captured the championship of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament, 64-50, Friday afternoon (Nov. 24, 2017).
Juwan McCloud scored 13 points to lead the Panthers (5-2), and Bennett Koch recorded a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds. UNI shot 42 percent and owned a 37-29 edge on the boards, but made just 6 of 23 3-pointers. The Panthers also didn't get to the free-throw line.
McCloud was named to the all-tournament team, along with UNI freshman Tywhon Pickford.
The Panthers cut the margin to six at 51-45 with 5:33 remaining, but they followed Spencer Haldeman's three-pointer with back-to-back empty possessions. That's when Villanova pulled away.
Phil Booth started the Wildcats' run with a three-pointer and Eric Paschall followed with a layup. Then, Mikal Bridges hit a three to push the margin to 14 at the 2:03 mark.
Bridges scored a game-high 18 points to lead four Villanova players in double-figures.
The Wildcats (6-0) led most of the game enroute to its second Battle 4 Atlantis title (2013). The victory was Villanova's 17th-straight in a November tournament and marked the fifth-consecutive year with a championship.
UNI largest first-half deficit was eight points, but the Panthers came back to take a 27-26 advantage on Klint Carlson's layup at the 2:51 mark. It was their last lead of the game. UNI trailed 32-29 at intermission.
UP NEXT: UNI returns home to the McLeod Center in Cedar Falls to play UNLV at 7 p.m. Wednesday (Nov. 29). The game is part of the 2017 Missouri Valley Conference/Mountain West Conference Challenge.