#14 Villanova Wins 64 – 60 at #17 Xavier
January 12, 2022 –
Two ranked teams squared off in a Big East battle. The Villanova Wildcats took the lead, but had to fend off a rally by the Xavier Musketeers and win 64 – 60 in Cincinnati. This is the fifth consecutive win for the Wildcats who improve to 5 – 1 in conference, and sweeps the season-series with the Musketeers.
“I was really proud of our guys,” said Villanova Coach Jay Wright. “That’s an outstanding Xavier team. We knew there was no way they were going to lay down. They were going to keep coming at us, which they did.”
The Wildcats lead 38 – 27 at intermission, then had to withstand a furious Musketeers rally.
The game was even at 56 with 2:17 to play after Xavier guard Paul Scruggs sank a three-pointer. Justin Moore answered 25 seconds later with a jumper in the paint. Nova held the advantage, but Xavier got to within 60 – 58 as under a minute remained. Moore converted four free throws down the stretch to allow the Wildcats to survive the charge.
Collin Gillespie lead Villanova with 21 points. He was a perfect 5 for 5 from the free throw line. Moore added 19 points and went 7 of 7 from the charity stripe. Eric Dixon set a season-high in rebounds getting 10 and tying his season-best in points with 15 set against Xavier in their first meeting.
The foul line was friendly to Nova as they sank 20 of 21 attempts from the line.
Scruggs and Nate Johnson each scored 15 points for Xavier.
Villanova plays their first game at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday when they host Butler.
Written By: Glenn Papazian