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NCAA basketball: Saint Mary's stuns Villanova to advance

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By The Staff

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Omar Samhan was an unstoppable Gael force.

His career isn't over yet — and neither is Saint Mary's NCAA tournament run as the Gaels are improbably headed to the round of 16.

Samhan played the game of his career on basketball's biggest stage, finishing with 32 points and seven rebounds to lead 10th-seeded Saint Mary's past Villanova 75-68 on Saturday and on to Houston for the South Regional's Sweet 16.

Mickey McConnell stopped and fired an arcing 25-footer that banked high off the glass to give Saint Mary's a 68-65 lead with 1:15 left.

Samhan used a two-handed block to turn back Reggie Redding and McConnell made both ends of a 1-and-1 to make it 70-65.

The soldout crowd was well behind the Gaels (28-5).

The Wildcats (25-8) made an early exit a year after they played in the Final Four. They started 20-1 and collapsed at the end.

Scottie Reynolds, who put Villanova in the Final Four last season with a last-second basket against Pittsburgh, was a big reason why the Wildcats are heading home early. He missed 9 of 11 shots and scored eight points after a dud game in the tournament opener.


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