PHILADELPHIA – (Staff report from Official News Release) – In a battle of top 10 teams on Wednesday, No. 1 Villanova got out of the gate quickly against No. 10 Xavier and posted an 89-65 victory at Wells Fargo Center. The Wildcats improved to 15-1 overall (3-1 in BIG EAST). The Musketeers fell to 15-3 and 3-2.
The Wildcats opened the game with a 12-4 run by the first television timeout and led 40-28 at halftime. For the game, Villanova outshot Xavier 55.2 percent to 41.4 percent from the field and committed only eight turnovers while the Musketeers had 15. Phil Booth led the winners with a career-high 21 points to go with four assists and four steals. Jalen Brunson added 15 points and five assists. Kerem Kanter led Xavier in scoring for the second straight game with 16 points on 6-of-7 shooting.
After a dark Thursday on the BIG EAST schedule, a doubleheader on FS1 is set for Friday. At 6:30 p.m. ET, Butler hosts Marquette at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Marquette (12-5, 3-2) is coming off Tuesday’s 84-64 win over Seton Hall. Butler (12-6, 2-3) lost 85-74 at Creighton, also on Tuesday. Last year, the Bulldogs took both meetings including an 88-80 decision at Hinkle. Marquette’s Markus Howard and Andrew Rowsey remain first and second in the BIG EAST in scoring with 22.8 and 21.6 averages, respectively.
At 8:30 p.m. eastern time, FS1 will present a unique viewing experience at the Providence at DePaul game from Wintrust Arena. The telecast is believed to be the first men’s college basketball game ever to be presented commercial-free with both head coaches mic’d up live. Coaches Ed Cooley of Providence and Dave Leitao of DePaul will wear live microphones throughout the game. Their comments from the bench, in the huddle and inside the locker rooms at halftime and postgame will be carried live. FOX Sports GO, the FOX digital app, will offer two additional live streams, with separate channels dedicated to Cooley and Leitao.
A three-game Saturday schedule starts with Georgetown at Seton Hall on FS1 at noon. Creighton plays at Xavier on FOX at 2 p.m. and Villanova meets St. John’s at Madison Square Garden on FOX Business Network at 8 p.m.