NEW YORK – (Staff report from Official News Release) – The BIG EAST Conference had a three-game schedule on Saturday, as No. 1 Villanova held off Providence, Marquette upset No. 7 Creighton and No. 13/14 Butler tipped DePaul in overtime.
Villanova knocked off Providence 78-68 at Wells Fargo Center with Josh Hart providing 25 points, six rebounds and four assists. Kris Jenkins added 19 points. The 19-1 Wildcats held off a strong 3-point shooting effort by the Friars, who were 13-of-26 from beyond the arc. Rodney Bullock led PC (13-8, 3-5) with 17 points.
Playing its third straight road game against a top-10 opponent, Marquette found victory at Creighton 102-94. Seven of the nine Golden Eagles who played in the game, scored in double figures. Katin Reinhardt came off the bench to score 21 points, which included a personal 10-0 run in the first half, to help Marquette earn a 50-40 halftime lead. Luke Fischer had 18 points, eight rebounds and six blocked shots. Creighton, playing its first game without injured guard Maurice Watson Jr., was led by Marcus Foster’s 30 points. Freshman Davion Mintz, who had 22 career points and 10 assists going into the game, helped to replace Watson Jr. with 17 points and eight assists.
Butler (17-3, 6-2) led for only a total of 101 seconds, but escaped Allstate Arena with a 70-69 overtime win against DePaul (8-12, 1-6). The Blue Demons raced to a 25-5 lead before the Bulldogs cut the deficit to 33-31 by halftime. In overtime, two free throws by Kamar Baldwin with three seconds left were the deciding points. Kethan Savage led Butler with 20 points, while Baldwin had 18 points. Eli Cain led the Blue Demons with a career-high 32 points with 21 coming in the first half. Billy Garrett Jr. added 16 points.
On Sunday, local rivals St. John’s and Seton Hall meet at Prudential Center at noon ET on FS1. The Red Storm, 9-11 overall and 3-4 in the BIG EAST, are coming off a 78-68 win over DePaul. Seton Hall (12-6, 2-4) is looking to end a three-game losing streak. Xavier also wants to end a three-game losing skein when it hosts Georgetown (10-9, 1-5) on CBS at 2 p.m.