A big run by the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at the end of the first half put them up 34-30 going into intermission of Tuesday night's 2012 Big East Tournament game. The Villanova Wildcats came out of the gate hot, however, going on a 12-2 run coming out of the locker room. Nova never looked back, expanding their lead all the way to the final buzzer.
Eli Carter was the story of the first half, at one point draining three consecutive 3-pointers on his way to 15 points. Rutgers scored just 15 points total in the second half, eight of which came from Carter. The Wildcats played smothering defense, controlling the paint with 39 rebounds and four blocked shots on their way to a 70-49 win.
Mouphtaou Yarou turned in a complete game, picking up 13 points and 12 rebounds along with two blocks and two steals. Maalik Wayns provided the fireworks, however, throwing his body at the rim all night for 28 points and six boards.
JayVaughn Pinkston never got rolling on the offensive end after a poor first half. He finished with seven turnovers and six points on 2-for-5 shooting. He made his presence felt on the defensive end, however, particularly on a big second half block on Carter.
The Wildcats once again drew the late game for the second round of the tournament, and will go up against the South Florida Bulls on Wednesday at 9:00 p.m. ET in Madison Square Garden. Nova lost both meetings between the two teams during the regular season, but their big second half Tuesday could have the Wildcats feeling good about their chances at an upset.
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