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Villanova-UCLA at MSG -- halftime report

Three observations from the first half of No. 7 Villanova vs. UCLA at Madison Square Garden -- Villanova leads 44-29 at the break:

  • We expected this to be a clash of different styles -- Villanova likes to play fast, UCLA likes to grind it out and keep the score down with its defense. Well, Nova's clearly winning that battle. The game was actually tight for most of the half -- Villanova led just 30-27 with 4:21 remaining in the half. But the Wildcats closed the half on 14-2 run.

  • Villanova is known for its outstanding guard play -- well, all three starting guards cracked double figures in the first half. Corey Fisher led the way with 13 -- even though he struggled with his shot, making just four of 12 from the field. Maalik Wayns had 11, and Corey Stokes chipped in 10.

  • UCLA couldn't clamp down on defense, and they weren't very successful on offense, either. The Bruins shot just 10-for-29 from the field (34.5 percent), and committed nine turnovers. Lazeric Jones led in the scoring column, with eight points.