LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Villanova is making a case to get back into the Top 25.
Collin Gillespie had 17 points, including two key late free throws, and the Wildcats won the AdvoCare Invitational by beating No. 14 Florida State 66-60 non Saturday.
“He loves the competition,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “I’m just glad he’s on our side.”
Gillespie made it 64-60 by connecting on a pair of free throws with 11.2 seconds to play in what was a tight second half.
Eric Paschall had 15 points and Phil Booth chipped in 12 for the defending national champions (5-2). Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree had 11 points and eight rebounds.
Villanova went from No. 8 to out of the Top 25 — the first time since December 2013 — in last Monday’s poll after losing to Michigan 73-46 in a rematch of last season’s championship game and losing 76-68 in overtime to Furman.
Florida State (5-1) got 11 points from both Mfiondu Kabengele and Trent Forrest.
“They did a much better job of playing to their strengths than we did ours,” Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton said. “I thought our guys gave good effort. I think that we’re a team that has a chance to develop into a pretty good basketball team.”
The Seminoles’ next game is Wednesday night against No. 24 Purdue.
“You only find out some of those areas that you need to work on when you play against great teams, high-caliber teams like we faced today,” Hamilton said.
Villanova’s Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Omari Spellman were all taken in the NBA draft after last year’s championship run.
“We’ve grown so much,” Wright said. “This whole season we’ve got to have a growth mindset.”
Gillespie had nine points to help Villanova take a 26-25 halftime lead. The Wildcats (eight) and Florida State (nine).
Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.