No. 14 Villanova tops Creighton in OT for 10-0 Big East mark
VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Freshman forward Saddiq Bey scored a career-high 17 points, senior guard Phil Booth hit key baskets down the stretch and No. 14 Villanova remained perfect in Big East play by beating Creighton 66-59 in overtime Wednesday night.
Booth finished with 14 points and eight rebounds while Eric Paschall scored 15 and Collin Gillespie had 13 for the Wildcats (19-4, 10-0), who have won their first 10 Big East games for the first time in program history. Their previous best start in league play came in 2009-10 when they opened 9-0.
The defending national champions also became the first Big East team to start 10-0 in conference games since UConn won its first 11 in 1998-99.
Davion Mintz led Creighton (13-10, 4-6) with 19 points and Martin Krampelj had 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Bluejays were missing two starters after top scorer Ty-Shon Alexander was injured in practice Tuesday. He joined Marcus Zegarowski (broken hand) in street clothes on the bench.
Despite playing short-handed, Creighton stayed right with Villanova in a back-and-forth game that featured 10 ties and eight lead changes. But the Wildcats put the clamps down in overtime, all but sealing the win on Booth’s 3-pointer with 1:25 left.
The game was tied at 45 with 4:30 left in regulation before Mintz drilled a tough 3 to put Creighton ahead and surprise the sold-out Finneran Pavilion crowd. Booth made two straight buckets to put Villanova back ahead, before Creighton’s Kaleb Joseph was fouled on a 3-point attempt with 37 seconds remaining. He hit one of three foul shots to tie the game at 49.
Krampelj swatted a go-ahead attempt from Booth with 11 seconds left, giving Creighton a shot to win at the end of regulation. But Joseph’s jumper rimmed out at the buzzer, sending the game to overtime.
Creighton: The Bluejays, who have played one of the nation’s toughest schedules, remain in the middle of the pack in the conference.
Villanova: Looking for their fifth Big East regular-season title in six years, the Wildcats are in essentially a two-horse race with Marquette. They have a two-game lead on the Golden Eagles with eight to play.
Creighton faces Seton Hall on Saturday night in the second stop on a three-game road trip.
Villanova heads to Marquette on Saturday afternoon for a showdown between the league’s top two teams.
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