Sunday, March 01, 2015
Dylan Ennis posted 16 points, five rebounds and five assists and No. 6 Villanova went into Cintas Center and knocked off Xavier 78-66 to win its 10th straight game.
Ryan Arcidiacono had 15 points and Kris Jenkins went 4-for-7 from distance for 14 for Villanova (27-2, 14-2 Big East), which wrapped up the Big East regular- season crown for the second consecutive year with Saturday's win.
The Wildcats had already earned a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden, which will take place from March 11-14.
Jalen Reynolds made all six of his shots to lead Xavier with 15 points, and Trevon Bluiett netted 12. Dee Davis tallied seven points, nine assists and six rebounds in the setback.
Xavier (18-12, 8-9) had won nine of its last 11 games at home against ranked opponents.
The Musketeers led by as many as nine early in the second half before Villanova charged back. The Wildcats trailed 54-53 just past the midway point when Jenkins got hot, sinking two 3-pointers before the under-8 media timeout. Out of the huddle, Phil Booth hit from deep to extend Villanova's lead to 62-57.
Arcidiacono then drilled a 3 and went 2-for-3 from the foul line after drawing a foul. Josh Hart's triple on the next trip down gave 'Nova an 11- point advantage.
Jenkins and Daniel Ochefu, who finished with 10 points and eight rebounds, both made two from the line in the final 1:13 to seal the win.
"They're as good as any team in the country," Xavier head coach Chris Mack said of Villanova.
Xavier got a boost from its reserves in the first half. Reynolds, James Farr and J.P. Macura came off the bench and scored a combined 18 points on 7-for-7 shooting to help the Musketeers to a 40-33 halftime lead.
Notes: Villanova forward JayVaughn Pinkston played despite accusations that he violated his probation on Friday. Pinkston was involved in an altercation at an off-campus party in 2010 and was suspended for the entire 2010-11 season ... Villanova upped its record to 4-0 in the series since Xavier joined the Big East ... Villanova scored 20 points off 14 turnovers.