NCAAB Game Recap - Xavier at Villanova
Mon Dec 30, 2019 6:30 PM EST

Detr
72
Gonz
93
F
JackSt
57
Baylor
83
F
Tul
73
Mem
84
F
Xav
62
Vill
68
F
NFla
59
Dayt
77
F
Canis
79
Pitt
87
F
(N/A)
57
UMBC
89
F
Hof
75
Tows
67
F
Dart
56
UNH
70
F
Wilbe
52
MiaO
119
F
(N/A)
53
E MI
88
F
Stetsn
63
SCar
56
F
HuTil
77
PVAM
92
F
(N/A)
78
DelSt
76
F
(N/A)
63
NCC
108
F
(N/A)
53
GASt
83
F
TexPA
72
Okla
91
F
SCSt
58
Jacksn
52
F
YSU
70
IL-C
64
F
WIGB
73
NoKY
59
F
Clev
82
IUPUI
80
F
WIMil
70
WriSt
82
F
(N/A)
49
Rut
94
F
Yale
67
UNC
70
F
NE
88
JMU
72
F
Penn
81
How
62
F
APSU
48
UGA
78
F
Copp
56
Ford
62
F
W&M
74
Elon
73
F
UNCW
66
Drex
71
F
Charl
75
Del
63
F
Albany
67
Colum
66
F
StBon
79
Buff
84
F
UMass
79
Akr
85
F
David
71
Vand
76
F
LoyIL
66
Valpa
63
F
TXSo
55
TexAM
58
F
HiPt
58
Tex
89
F
LaTec
80
SoMis
49
F
ChiSt
33
Mizzu
91
F
Kent
68
MisSt
96
F
SIU
56
IndSt
68
F
Seton
74
DeP
66
F
GMas
53
TCU
87
F
Harv
84
USF
81
F(OT)
Ida
68
Web
69
F
NoAZ
61
MTSt
63
F
Sac
50
Mont
52
F
E WA
69
IdaSt
75
F
S UT
83
PorSt
81
F

Villanova 68, Xavier 62

Dec 30, 2019, 6:30 PM EST

Final

1

2

T

Xavier (11-3)

25

37

62

(10) Villanova (10-2)

32

36

68

Gillespie leads No. 10 Nova past Xavier in Big East opener
Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:43 PM

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) Villanova coach Jay Wright leaned on Collin Gillespie in crunch time, and the sophomore guard delivered.

Gillespie scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead No. 10 Villanova to a 68-62 victory over Xavier on Monday night in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

"I really liked his decision making in the second half," Wright said of his point guard. "He made great decisions on when to take it at them, when to get someone else a shot, and when to take a 3."

Gillespie got hot after halftime and drained a key 3-pointer with 4:37 remaining that gave the Wildcats a 60-49 lead and some needed breathing room. The Musketeers had been inching closer behind the strong interior play of Naji Marshall, who netted 10 of 12 Xavier points during one second-half stretch.

"Just be a leader vocally and leading by example on the court," Gillespie said.

Jermaine Samuels added 14 points for Villanova (10-2), which has won six in a row. The Wildcats hadn't played since a 56-55 victory over then-No. 1 Kansas on Dec. 21.

The victory was more of the same for the Wildcats, who have dominated the Big East since the conference realignment in 2013. They have won five of the six regular-season conference titles and four of six tournament titles, including the last three. Villanova won a pair of national titles, in 2016 and 2018, during that stretch.

Wright knows another Big East title isn't going to be easy, especially given that Villanova starts three sophomores and a freshman, along with a junior.

"That's what the Big East is going to be like every night, home or away," he said. "It's going to be a grinder. There are just so many good teams in this league. This is going to be incredible this season. It's a great learning experience for us."

Marshall had 19 points to pace Xavier (9-3). The Musketeers were just outside of the Top 25 this week, receiving 58 votes.

"I have a ton of respect for the way they play, but I was really disappointed in our play," Xavier coach Travis Steele said. "I didn't think we played really well. Villanova probably had a lot to do with that. We have to make better decisions with the ball, we have to block out. We knew what was coming and I didn't think we handled it well."

Villanova led by as many as 17 points in the first half, but had that advantage trimmed to seven, 32-25, at the break. Xavier got within four early in the half, but the Musketeers could not get closer.

The Musketeers were within six, 63-57, after Tyrique Jones' hook with 2:03 left and had a chance to cut it to three with just over a minute left. But Marshall's 3-point try went off the back rim.

Samuels hit a pull-up jumper with 57.3 seconds left to make it 65-57.

Samuels' driving layup with 10:03 left in the first half made it 21-8 Wildcats, capping a 17-0 run over a little more than six minutes. The Wildcats' lead still was 13 when Gillespie hit a 3-pointer with 6 1/2 minutes left to make it 26-13. But Xavier closed the half by scoring 12 of the last 18 points.

NUMBERS GAME

Xavier finished 1 for 11 from 3-point range, but Steele wasn't upset with that statistic. He was disappointed, though, with the Musketeers' 14 turnovers and 12 offensive rebounds that led to 11 second-chance points for Villanova.

"I don't care about our 3-point shooting; it didn't cost us the game," Steele said. "I think we're one of the best two-point field goal team in country. That's who we are, and we're going to play to our strengths."

BIG PICTURE

Xavier: Despite the defeat, the Musketeers still have a chance to get off to a strong start in conference play with three of the next four and five of the next seven at home in the comfy confines of the Cintas Center. Xavier has won all eight games at their on-campus arena this season and has the seventh-best home winning percentage in the nation all-time with a 266-41 (.866) mark in the 20-year history of the building.

Villanova: The Wildcats will have a busy two months of conference play. After playing 11 nonconference games in 57 days, Villanova plays its final 20 contests over a 66-day stretch that began with Monday's game against Xavier. Of those 20 games, 18 are against Big East opponents, with the exception of nonleague matchups versus UConn and Temple.

UP NEXT

Xavier: Hosts St. John's on Sunday.

Villanova: At Marquette on Saturday.

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More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Leaders

Xavier PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
B. Moore 0 0 0 0 0 0
N. Marshall 19 0 3 2 1 2
Villanova PTS +/- AST REB ST BLK
B. Slater 0 0 0 5 0 0
B. Antoine 0 0 0 0 0 0

Team Comparison

Xav Vill
Points For 62 68
Field Goals 27/58-47% 25/62-40%
Three Pointers 1/11-9% 7/25-28%
Free Throws 7/10-70% 11/16-69%
Offensive Rebounds 8 12
Defensive Rebounds 28 25
Rebounds 44 39
Blocks 6 3
Steals 6 7
Turnovers 14 11
Personal Fouls 18 15
Technical Fouls 0 0
Ejections 0 0

2019-2020 Regular Season - Vill Leads Series 1-0

Date Result Away Pts Ldr Home Pts Ldr
Mon Dec 30 Xav 62 @ Vill 68 K. Tandy 3 D. Cosby-Roundtree 2

Game Information

Stadium: Finneran Pavilion, Villanova, Pennsylvania
Attendance: 6,501
Game Time: