EditorsNote: Minor edits for style, clarity
Collin Gillespie scored 24 points and No. 16 Villanova rallied from a 14-point deficit to defeat Creighton, 64-59, on Tuesday at Omaha, Neb.
Saddiq Bey scored 11 points, Jermaine Samuels added 10 and freshman Jeremiah Robinson-Earl swept 14 rebounds as the Wildcats improved to 11-3 overall and 2-1 in the Big East.
Christian Bishop led Creighton with 16 points and nine rebounds, but its 15-game home winning streak was snapped. The Bluejays (12-4, 1-2) had won their first 10 at home this season.
Trailing 60-57, Denzel Mahoney had his shot blocked at the rim by Robinson-Earl with 1:33 left.
On the Bluejays’ next possession, Mahoney missed a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
After Robinson-Earl picked up his 14th rebound, the Wildcats were able to hold on.
Villanova missed its first seven shots and fell behind 17-8 with 10:56 remaining in the first half.
Marcus Zegarowski soon drove to the basket, and the Creighton advantage was 19-8.
The Bluejays moved ahead 24-10 with 6:33 left, thanks to suffocating defense, especially on the perimeter.
Villanova made a late push and trailed 31-25 before Mahoney had a chance at a three-point play with 3.5 seconds remaining. Mahoney missed the free throw, and the Bluejays led 33-25 at halftime.
The Wildcats missed 16 of their 20 treys in the first half.
Villanova came out aggressive in the second half with six straight points to cut the lead to 33-31.
When Mitch Ballock drove the baseline around Samuels and made a tough layup, the Creighton lead was 45-37.
Villanova freshman Justin Moore scored in the paint, and the deficit was 47-42 with 10:00 remaining.
On Creighton’s next possession, Zegarowski was double-teamed and found Bishop for a dunk and a seven-point advantage.
Villanova got within 52-48 after Gillespie hit a layup with 7:19 to go, but the junior guard appeared to injure his leg. Gillespie was able to remain in the game, but Villanova head coach Jay Wright was whistled for a technical foul, and Ty-Shon Alexander hit both free throws for a six-point lead.
Gillespie later made a deep trey, and Villanova regained the lead, 55-54, with 3:41 left.
Ballock then hit a 3-pointer, and Creighton went back ahead 57-55.
—Field Level Media