February 2, 2018 / 1:43 AM / 2 months ago

No. 1 Villanova cruises past Creighton

EditorsNote: fixes “Bluejays” in sixth graf

Mikal Bridges scored 21 points, Jalen Brunson added 19 and No. 1-ranked Villanova defeated Creighton 98-78 Thursday at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Donte DiVincenzo contributed 17 and Omari Spellman had 14 for the Wildcats (21-1, 8-1 Big East). Eric Paschall had 11 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

The Wildcats tied a program record with 19 made 3-pointers. They attempted 39 shots from beyond the arc. Villanova shot 37 of 68 (54.4 percent) from the floor overall.

Villanova, the No. 1 team in the country for the fourth consecutive week, opened its four-game homestand with yet another victory. The Wildcats keep winning despite the absence of guard Phil Booth, who is out indefinitely due to a fractured bone in his right hand.

The Wildcats have taken 17 of the 19 all-time meetings against Creighton, including eight in a row.

Marcus Foster led Creighton (17-6, 7-4) with 20 points while Kaleb Joseph and Khyri Thomas added 12 apiece. The Bluejays had won consecutive games over St. John’s and Georgetown in the past week.

Bridges knocked down a 3-pointer, the Wildcats’ 13th of the game, for a 59-43 advantage early in the second half.

Villanova’s Collin Gillespie later hit a deep 3-pointer from the wing for a 64-48 lead with 14:01 remaining.

It was more than enough of a cushion in another blowout win for the Wildcats. Even walk-on Matt Kennedy hit a late basket, drawing a loud ovation from the home crowd.

Brunson and Bridges combined for 29 points on 11-of-17 shooting as the Wildcats raced to a 49-34 halftime lead.

Villanova shot 19 of 32 before the break, including a sizzling 10 of 18 from beyond the arc. The Wildcats registered 13 first-half assists on the 19 made field goals and committed only three turnovers.

No Creighton player was able to reach double figures before halftime.

—Field Level Media

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