Villanova used a balanced effort as the No. 2 Wildcats beat No. 24 Xavier, 73-57, for a Big East road win on Saturday afternoon.
The win is head coach Jay Wright’s 500th as he saw the Big East leaders play a complete game.
Point guard Jalen Brunson had a solid game with 17 points, seven assists and only two turnovers as Villanova shot 51 percent (27-for-52) from the field and only committed six turnovers. Donte DiVincenzo also continued his strong recent stretch of play by finishing with 17 points.
Kris Jenkins (12 points), Josh Hart (11 points) and Mikal Bridges (10 points) also finished with double-figures for Villanova.
When Villanova’s offense is playing like this they are going to be one of the toughest teams in the country to stop. Brunson and DiVincenzo being the leaders in this one is particularly noteworthy since those are two of the players Villanova will rely on in March compared to last season. We know that Josh Hart is a player of the year candidate and Jenkins and Bridges are also steady but adding more perimeter firepower from those guys makes Villanova really tough to defend.
With DiVincenzo scoring like this there are not many weak links in the Villanova lineup.
Xavier (18-7, 8-4) looked lifeless by the end of this one as Trevon Bluiett (0 points) had an ankle injury and the team’s offense struggled. Rashid Gaston had a solid game with 23 points and 10 rebounds while J.P. Macura added 17 points and seven rebounds.
The Musketeers outrebounded Villanova 42-27 but the only shot 35 percent from the field and 28 percent from three-point range.
This loss snaps a four-game winning streak for Xavier as they begin a three-game road trip in which they need to get healthier and figure out the offensive issues.