No. 5 Xavier 90, No. 1 Villanova 83
The No. 5 Xavier Musketeers (25-3, 13-3 Big East) made a massive statement on Wednesday night as they took down the No. 1 Villanova Wildcats (24-4, 13-2) at the Cintas Center.
Six different Musketeers found their way into double digits in the win that moved them into the discussion for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA men's basketball tournament.
Xavier played a solid first half, but it couldn't pull away from the visitors due to the play of Kris Jenkins, who scored 19 points in the first 20 minutes.
The complexion of the game changed early in the second half as Jenkins and Daniel Ochefu got into foul trouble and sat on the bench for an extended period of time.
Jenkins re-entered with eight minutes left in the contest, but he immediately returned to the bench as he picked up his fifth foul on his first possession back on the court.
From that point on, Xavier dominated the Big East showdown thanks to a well-rounded attack on offense and Villanova's failure to find a replacement for Jenkins in the scoring department.
The victory moved Xavier within a half game of Villanova in the race for the Big East regular-season title. It was also the first for Xavier over Villanova since the formation of the new Big East.
J.P. Macura and Edmond Sumner led Xavier with 19 points each, while Myles Davis, Trevon Bluiett, James Farr and Jalen Reynolds all scored over 10 points as well for the hosts. Jenkins led all scorers with 22 for Villanova.
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