Villanova 67, Oklahoma 51

Wednesday, December 6th 2006, 12:28 pm
By: News On 6

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) _ Mike Nardi scored a season-high 23 points and Curtis Sumpter added 14 as Villanova beat Oklahoma 67-51 Wednesday night to end the Sooners' NCAA-best 49-game homecourt winning streak against nonconference foes.

Nardi hit eight of his first 10 shots to propel the Wildcats (7-1) to a double-digit lead, and the Sooners (4-3) were unable to mount a comeback despite holding Villanova scoreless for more than five minutes in the second half.

Oklahoma's last loss to a nonconference opponent at the Lloyd Noble Center came against No. 4 Cincinnati on Dec. 22, 1999. Duke, which beat Holy Cross 57-45 on Wednesday night, now has the longest such streak at 47 games.

In a rematch of teams that met last season in the top 5, Nardi sparked a 15-2 run midway through the first half to push the Wildcats ahead for good. Nardi connected on a 3-pointer from the top of the key to start the spurt and then had assists on 3-pointers by Shane Clark and Sumpter. Villanova led 28-16 after back-to-back layups by Sumpter and Reynolds and a left-handed hook shot by Nardi.

The Wildcats led 36-25 at halftime after forcing 15 Oklahoma turnovers, then pushed the lead to 55-40 after Dante Cunningham dunked a miss by former Sooners signee Scottie Reynolds.

After that, Villanova went more than five minutes without a point but Oklahoma was equally cold. The Sooners scored only four points in the same span, and Sumpter ended the drought with back-to-back 3-pointers to stretch the lead to 61-44 with under five minutes to play.

Freshman Tony Crocker scored a career-high 19 points to lead Oklahoma, and Longar Longar added 12. The Sooners committed a season-worst 24 turnovers.

Reynolds, a McDonald's All-American point guard, had 10 points against the team he spurned after Jeff Capel was hired to replace Kelvin Sampson as the Sooners' coach.

After Capel was hired in April, Reynolds' father sent a note to Oklahoma seeking a ``complete, unconditional release'' from his letter of intent.

``When Scott committed to come to OU he was coming to play for Coach Sampson and his assistant coaches,'' Rick Reynolds wrote. ``They are no longer at OU. This changes everything.''

Reynolds met with Capel but instead wound up at Villanova, where he has started the Wildcats' first eight games and averaged 7.7 points entering Wednesday night.

He was booed during introductions and frequently when he brought the ball upcourt. Fans cheered when Reynolds was fouled by Taylor Griffin and sent sprawling to the floor on the Wildcats' first possession.

The Wildcats beat Oklahoma 85-74 in Philadelphia last year when both teams were ranked in the top 5 _ Villanova at No. 4, Oklahoma at No. 5.