CINCINNATI – (staff report from Official News Release) – In a battle between first and second, first won.
League-leading Villanova improved to 11-2 in BIG EAST play and 24-2 overall with a 73-57 win at Xavier Saturday afternoon. Jalen Brunson and Donte DiVincenzo led five players in double figures with 17 points apiece. Villanova played without forward Darryl Reynolds due to a rib injury. Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett injured an ankle and did not score in 19 minutes. RaShid Gaston posted 23 points and 10 rebounds for the Musketeers, who are 18-7 overall and 8-4 in the BIG EAST. The victory was the 500th career win for Villanova coach Jay Wright.
Creighton moved into a second-place tie at 8-4 with Xavier after winning 93-58 at DePaul. The Bluejays displayed a balanced scoring attack led by Toby Hegner’s 14 points. Marcus Foster added 13 points. Chris Harrison-Docks led the Blue Demons with 15 points. Billy Garrett Jr. moved into 10th place on the school’s all-time scoring list with 1,536 points. He had 10 points against Creighton.
Providence made key plays down the stretch in its 71-65 home victory against Butler. Freshman Alpha Diallo had 15 points and Kyron Cartwright added 14 points and seven assists for the Friars. The Bulldogs, who fell to 8-5 in the league standings, got a career-high 19 points from reserve Nate Fowler. PC shot 9-of-19 from 3-point range while Butler was 5-of-18.
St. John’s improved to 6-7 in BIG EAST play after a 78-70 win over Seton Hall at Madison Square Garden. The Red Storm committed only eight turnovers while the Pirates had 18. Marcus LoVett led St. John’s with 19 points, six assists, five rebounds and only one turnover in 34 minutes. The Pirates got double-doubles from Angel Delgado (13 pts.-10 rebs.) and Michael Nzei (11 pts., 12 rebs.).
Georgetown has won four of its last six after defeating Marquette 80-62 at Verizon Center. The trio of Jessie Govan, Rodney Pryor and L.J. Peak keyed the victory. Govan had 23 points and eight rebounds. Pryor posted 20 points and 10 boards. Peak finished with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists. Marquette’s Jajuan Johnson scored a team-high 14 points.
BIG EAST play picks up on Monday when Villanova visits DePaul at 9 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network.