Villanova’s Jalen Brunson goes up for a shot during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Xavier, Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2018, in Philadelphia. (Matt Slocum/AP)
Originally published Thursday, January 11, 2018 at 06:00a.m.
PHILADELPHIA — Villanova turned the anticipated Big East game of the year into a romp by the time some fans were still taking their seats.
Phil Booth hit five 3s and scored a career high 21 points while Jalen Brunson had 17 to lead the No. 1 Wildcats to an 89-65 win over No. 10 Xavier on Wednesday night.
“We still have to get better,” coach Jay Wright said.
Hard to say where after Villanova’s latest lopsided victory.
The Wildcats (15-1, 3-1 Big East) returned to the top spot of the poll and dominated like a team that won’t lose its grip on that rank anytime soon.
Booth and Brunson opened the game with 3s and the Wildcats played every bit as worthy as their ranking as they raced to a 22-9 lead. Booth hit three 3s in the first half and Brunson was solid both from long range and in attacking the basket to make it 40-28 at the break.
The Wildcats took a 13-point lead in the half on the play of the game: Donte DiVincenzo stole the ball and fed to Eric Paschal just before halfcourt. Paschal passed to Booth who put some extra arc on a lob and the 6-foot-9 Paschal slammed it home to rock the rim and bring the crowd to its feet.
Brunson, who made The Associated Press preseason All-America team, hit a pair of 3s and had five assists and just one turnover running the offense.
“You peel his face off, you’ll probably have wires coming out of it,” Xavier coach Chris Mack said. “I think they’re led by the best point guard in college basketball.”
No. 4 MICHIGAN STATE 76, RUTGERS 72, OT
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Miles Bridges ended his scoreless start with 7:43 left in regulation and finished with just 11 points for Michigan State.
The Spartans (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) were coming off a lopsided loss at Ohio State and the setback seemed to have lingering effects for the team and their sophomore star.
The Scarlet Knights (11-7, 1-4) took a one-point lead on Corey Sanders’ step-back jumper with 1 minute left. Sanders missed a long jumper with 16 seconds left.
Bridges was fouled with 8 seconds left, but made only the second free throw to tie the game.
With a chance to win, Sanders missed a shot near the top of the key with a second left in regulation. Sanders made a game-tying floater with 1:21 left in overtime. He made a layup to pull Rutgers within two with 9 seconds left, but Cassius Winston sealed the win with two free throws to put the Spartans ahead by six.
Sanders scored 22 points for the Scarlet Knights.
Michigan State’s Nick Ward had 17 points.
No. 7 DUKE 87, PITTSBURGH 52
PITTSBURGH — Marvin Bagley III scored 16 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Duke.
Bagley recorded his 13th double-double of the season, one shy of the Duke freshmen record shared by Jabari Parker and Gene Banks.
The Blue Devils (14-2, 2-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) never trailed and needed less than 17 minutes to build a 30-point lead.
Jared Wilson-Frame led the Panthers (8-9, 04) with 17 points.
TEXAS 99, No. 16 TCU 98, 2OT
AUSTIN, Texas — Jericho Sims made a free throw with 5 seconds left, then Texas watched as TCU’s Jaylen Fisher missed a layup off the rim at the final buzzer in the second overtime.
Sims had missed his second free throw and the Horned Frogs got the play they wanted with Fisher driving the lane for a point-blank layup that somehow bounced out.
Texas got it biggest win of the season hours after the school announced that sophomore guard Andrew Jones has been diagnosed with leukemia and has started treatment. Further details on his diagnosis and condition have not been released.
TCU had rallied from 13 down in the second half and led 94-90 in the second overtime. The game was tied at 98 when Desmond Bane of TCU missed a shot and Kenrich Williams fouled Sims on the rebound.
Eric Davis scored 22 points to lead Texas (11-5, 2-2 Big 12). Williams scored 26 for TCU (13-3, 1-3), which made 15 3-pointers but none in the second overtime.
LOUISVILLE 73, No. 23 FLORIDA STATE 69
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Deng Adel scored 16 points and Louisville rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit to defeat to snap Florida State’s 28-game home winning streak.
Ray Spalding added 15 points for the Cardinals (12-4, 2-1 Atlantic Coast Conference), who made six 3-pointers in the second half. Ryan McMahon, who scored 11 points, had three 3-pointers in the final 20 minutes, including one that gave the Cardinals the lead and another with 59 seconds remaining that pushed the lead to 71-66.
Terance Mann tied a career high with 25 points and Braian Angola added 18 for Florida State (12-4, 1-3).