Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 18 points and 10 rebounds as No. 3 Villanova overcame a nine-point second-half deficit to beat Boston College 76-67 on Wednesday night in the first round of the Empire Classic.
Collin Gillespie added 15 points and Justin Moore and Caleb Daniels each had 14 for the Wildcats, who will play No. 18 Arizona State in the tournament championship game Thursday.
Jay Heath scored 16 points and Makai Ashton-Langford added 15 for Boston College.
Ashton-Langford’s 3-pointer gave the Eagles a 57-48 advantage with 13 minutes left, but the Wildcats responded by going on an 11-1 run. Villanova took the lead for good at 63-61 on a hook shot by Moore with just over six minutes left.
NO. 4 VIRGINIA 89, TOWSON 54
Trey Murphy III scored 21 points a day after learning he was cleared to play, and fellow transfer Sam Hauser added 19 as Virginia opened the season by routing Towson.
Jay Huff added 14 points for the Cavaliers, who never trailed and led by 23 points at halftime.
Nicolas Timberlake scored 19 points for Towson, which was a late replacement after Maine withdrew from the game Tuesday.
The game was the first in an 11-day event dubbed “Bubbleville,” which includes several tournaments and individual games being played inside the Mohegan Sun resort casino in Connecticut.
Murphy’s first points, one of his six 3-pointers, gave Virginia its first 20-point lead at 33-13. Murphy, a transfer from Rice, learned on Tuesday he’d received a waiver from the NCAA to play this season.
NO. 5 IOWA 97, NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL 67
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Luka Garza had 26 points and 10 rebounds and Iowa beat North Carolina Central.
Garza, the Big Ten player of the year last season and the lone unanimous selection on the preseason AP All-America team, had his 17th consecutive game of 20 points or more.
The senior center had four points in the first 10 1/2 minutes before the Hawkeyes took control with a 20-2 run near the end of the first half. He had six of Iowa’s final nine points in the run.
Redshirt freshman forward Patrick McCaffery, the son of Iowa coach Fran McCaffery, had 16 points.
CJ Keyser led North Carolina Central with 15 points. Nicolas Fennell had 12.
NO. 7 WISCONSIN 77, EASTERN ILLINOIS 67
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Nate Reuvers had 18 points and nine rebounds to lead Wisconsin past Eastern Illinois in the season opener for both teams.
Ben Carlson came off the bench to score 13 points for the Badgers, and D’Mitrik Trice added 11.
Josiah Wallace led Eastern Illinois with 16 points.
Eastern Illinois put itself in a 43-20 halftime hole by shooting 24% from the field, committing six turnovers and playing porous defense as the Badgers shot