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BUFFALO, N.Y. – Darrun Hilliard scored 16 points, JayVaughn Pinkston added 13 and Villanova beat Milwaukee 73-53 on Thursday night in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Wildcats (29-4), the No. 2 seed in the East Region, will play seventh-seeded Connecticut (27-8) in the third round Saturday. The Huskies held off Saint Joseph's 89-81 in overtime.
No. 15 seed Milwaukee (21-14), the surprise champion of the Horizon League, made it a game all the way, leading much of the first half before fading late.
Villanova was eager to get back on the court after being upset last week by Seton Hall in the Big East tournament quarterfinals, but the effect of that loss seemed to linger.
A 12-point run spanning halftime gave the Wildcats a nine-point lead early in the second half and they held on. Hilliard's long 3-pointer from the top of the key with 8:10 left gave them a 53-42 lead, and the Panthers couldn't recover.