Wed, 12 May 2021

No. 10 Villanova gets jump on No. 14 Creighton, holds on

Field Level Media
04 Mar 2021, 14:19 GMT+10

Justin Moore had 24 points, five rebounds and five assists and No. 10 Villanova built a 22-point lead and held off visiting No. 14 Creighton, 72-60, on Wednesday.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl added 14 points and 14 rebounds and Brandon Slater had 11 points off the bench as the Wildcats (16-4, 11-3 Big East) captured the Big East regular season title. It was the eighth under head coach Jay Wright and a conference record 11th by the Wildcats.

Collin Gillespie (five points) left the game in the first half with an apparent left knee injury and didn't return, though he remained on the bench. The extent of the injury was unclear as Gillespie's knee appeared to be twisted under a couple of Creighton players.

Wright called Gillespie's injury "serious" on the postgame television interview.

Mitch Ballock led Creighton (17-7, 13-6) with 14 points, Damien Jefferson added 13 and Marcus Zegarowski had 10.

Creighton head coach Greg McDermott was on the bench just one day after apologizing to his team for reportedly making racially insensitive comments to his team after a recent loss to Xavier.

Villanova jumped out to a 17-7 lead midway through the first half.

Moore had 10 points by halftime and helped key a late push as the Wildcats led 42-23.

Creighton struggled throughout the first half getting into its offensive rhythm, largely because of Villanova's suffocating perimeter defense.

Moore stayed hot into the second half, hitting his seventh shot of the game without a miss as the Wildcats pulled ahead 57-35.

The Bluejays, meanwhile, missed seven of their first eight treys and 14 of their first 19 treys.

Creighton began to chip away and made nine of its first 12 shots in the second yet still trailed 57-45. Shereef Mitchell's 3-pointer continued a run that reached 10-0 run and closed to within 57-45.

When Ballock hit a 3-pointer with 7:25 left, the spurt was 15-0 and the deficit was 57-50.

One possession later, Mitchell scored on a layup and Creighton trailed by only five.

Robinson-Earl stopped the run with a tough layup and Villanova led 59-52 with 5:45 to go.

Slater dropped in a clutch 3-pointer with 2:59 left for a 62-54 Villanova lead.

Moore's three-point play all but sealed the win with 2:07 left as the Wildcats moved ahead 65-54, and Cole Swider's 3-pointer made it a 14-point game with 54 seconds left.

--Field Level Media

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