January 19, 2019 / 4:21 AM / 7 months ago

No. 22 Villanova hits from long range to upend Xavier

EditorsNote: fixes Xavier’s record in fourth graf; rewords sixth graf; fixes to “13-2” in 11th graf

Senior guard Phil Booth made five 3-point baskets as part of a 22-point effort to help No. 22 Villanova post an 85-75 victory over Xavier on Friday night in Big East play at Philadelphia.

Sophomore guard Collin Gillespie drained a career-best six 3-pointers while scoring 18 points as the Wildcats (14-4, 5-0 Big East) won their sixth straight contest.

Senior forward Eric Paschall added 17 points and eight rebounds as Villanova went 15-for-34 from 3-point range while defeating the Musketeers for the fifth straight time.

Junior forward Tyrique Jones scored a career-best 21 points and collected 12 rebounds for Xavier (11-8, 3-3). Sophomore forward Naji Marshall had 15 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and senior forward Zach Hankins had 12 points.

Musketeers junior point guard Quentin Goodin (knee) returned from a two-game absence and also had 12 points in 32 minutes.

The 20-plus-point effort was the fourth in a row for Booth, who is averaging 24 points during the stretch.

Villanova freshman forward Cole Swider missed the game after fracturing his right hand in practice Thursday.

The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field.

Xavier shot 43.8 percent from the field and was 6 of 18 from 3-point range.

The Wildcats led 44-33 after a 3-pointer by Booth with 16:30 to play before the Musketeers charged back and moved within 51-50 on a 3-pointer by Paul Scruggs with 10:55 left.

Villanova answered with a 13-2 run. Sophomore forward Jermaine Samuels and Booth knocked down 3-pointers and Samuels scored on a layup to make the lead 59-50.

Paschall scored the final five points to increase the Wildcats’ advantage to 64-52 with 7:21 remaining.

Paschall’s three-point play made it 74-59 with 3:54 left, and Villanova went on to close it out.

The Wildcats were 8-for-18 from 3-point range en route to a 39-31 halftime advantage.

Booth drained a 3-pointer to cap a 10-0 burst that gave Villanova a 16-8 lead with 14:12 left in the first half.

Xavier moved within 29-27 on a basket by senior guard Kyle Castlin with 4:34 remaining before Villanova answered with a 10-2 push to take a 10-point lead.

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