NEW YORK – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Mikal Bridges scored a career-high 28 points as fourth-ranked Villanova (9-0) defeated No. 12/13 Gonzaga 88-72 in the Jimmy V Classic at Madison Square Garden. Phil Booth scored 20, while Omari Spellman notched a double-double with 10 points, 10 boards. Villanova led 43-30 at the half.
Marquette’s Markus Howard tied a career-best with 34 points as the Golden Eagles (6-3) surged past Vermont, 91-81, at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. It was Howard’s fourth 30-point outing for the year. He converted six-of-11 3-pointers and went 6-for-6 from the charity stripe to remain perfect on the year.
Creighton (6-2) never trailed in a 111-68 win over North Dakota, the defending Big Sky Tournament champs. The Bluejays shot 62.9 percent in the second half. Marcus Foster tied his season-high with 23 points. Martin Krampelj added 15 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for his first career double-double.
Kelan Martin poured in 29 points to power Butler (7-2) past Utah, 81-69. Martin also added 11 rebounds. A 14-0 run early in the second half proved to be decisive in the contest. Martin went 12-for-19 from the field.
St. John’s (8-1) closed out the night in Phoenix with a 68-60 victory over Grand Canyon in the Valley of the Sun Shootout. Shamorie Ponds led the Red Storm with 28 points on 10-of-21 shooting while adding six rebounds, five steals and four assists. Ponds played the full 40 minutes against the WAC favorite.
Wednesday night hoops starts with Brown at Providence at 7 p.m. on FS2 and Kent State at No. 13/14 Xavier on FS1. Providence (6-2) will be looking to rebound from a 75-68 loss to Rhode Island from Saturday; while Xavier (7-1) is looking to extend its winning streak to three games and are coming off a 89-76 victory over Cincinnati in the Crosstown Shootout. The FS1 doubleheader continues with DePaul (3-4) hosting Central Connecticut at 9 p.m. DePaul has won their last two games with wins over Portland and Youngstown State.
BIG EAST teams are a combined 65-16 (.802) this season going into Wednesday.