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Updated: Saturday, November 30, 2002 5:01 AM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
Recap | Box Score | Today's Scoreboard
Villanova 81, (10) Michigan St 73
VILLANOVA WILDCATS
Villanova Wildcats
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MICHIGAN ST. SPARTANS
Michigan St. Spartans
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (Ticker) -- Villanova may get attention for its freshman class, but it also has two pretty good seniors.

Gary Buchanan scored 29 points and Ricky Wright added 18 as Villanova posted an 81-73 victory over 10th-ranked Michigan State in the semifinals of the Great Alaska Shootout.

Coach Jay Wright's first recruiting class features forward Jason Fraser along with guards Allan Ray and Randy Foye. However, Wright's top two returning players are Buchanan, a 6-3 guard, and Wright, a 6-7 forward.

Against Michigan State, the duo carried the Wildcats down the stretch as Buchanan relied on his accuracy from the perimeter and Wright used his big frame in the low post.

Buchanan made 9-of-14 shots, including 6-of-11 from 3-point range. Villanova, which ranked second in the Big East in 3-point shooting last season, clicked at just under 48 percent (10-of-21) from the arc.

Buchanan, who had 17 points in the second half, hit a deep 3-pointer with just over 3 1/2 minutes to play that put Villanova (3-1) ahead, 71-66.

Michigan State (2-1) battled back from a 68-57 deficit, but Wright scored six straight points in the low post to rebuild the lead to five with just over two minutes left.

Fraser, who collected 24 and 15 rebounds against Loyola Marymount on Thursday, was held to just five points. But the 6-9 forward drew a big charge on Chris Hill with 2:47 remaining and Villanova holding a 73-70 lead.

Adam Ballinger paced Michigan State with 19 points, while Hill added 13.

But Ballinger was held to just two free throws over the final 15 minutes as the Spartans shot just 36 percent (9-of-25) in the second half after shooting 58 percent (14-of-24) in the first half.

The Spartans outrebounded the Wildcats, 31-27, but committed 18 turnovers and made just 4-of-14 3-pointers.

While Fraser battled foul trouble, Ray and Foye combined for 19 points for Villanova.

Villanova faces College of Charleston in Saturday's championship game, while the Spartans face Oklahoma State for third place.


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