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Quick Report: No. 3 Villanova 79, No. 15 Xavier 54

01/10/2017, 9:00pm EST
By Will Slover

Will Slover (@WillSlover31)

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No. 3 Villanova overcame a slow start to top No. 15 Xavier by a score of 79-54 at the Pavilion on Tuesday night.

At First…

After trailing for the entirety of the contest and seeing the Xavier lead grow as large as eight, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins scored five straight to spark a Villanova run and cut the Xavier lead to one, 24-23, with just 4:41 to go in the first half. Jenkins’ five consecutive points for the Wildcats highlighted his stellar first half as he went into the intermission with 10 points and four rebounds.

Turning Point…

Following the five-point spurt from Jenkins, Villanova’s Eric Paschall hit 1-of-2 attempts from the free throw line and Jalen Brunson connected on both of his chances the next time down the floor to give Villanova their first lead of the ballgame, 26-24, with 2:57 to go in the first half. The ‘Cats would continue their strong play and close out the half on an 18-4 run over the final 6:30 of play and take a 34-28 lead into the intermission. Out of the half, Villanova’s hot trend continued as a quick 5-0 spurt for the Wildcats would give them their first double-digit lead, 39-28, with 18:59 to go and it would stay that way, as Villanova would stay ahead by a comfortable amount for the remainder of the contest.

Standout Stars…

Jenkins, one of three Villanova seniors, led the offensive push for Villanova, as he finished with 20 points, on 5-of-10 shooting, including going 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. The 6-foot-6 forward also reeled in six rebounds. Senior guard Josh Hart also hit the 20-point threshold for Villanova, as he finished with 20 points, six rebounds and five assists in the win.

Leading the scoring charge for Xavier was sophomore guard Edmond Sumner, who finished with 11 points and also grabbed four rebounds.

Noteworthy Numbers…

5: Villanova had five scorers in double figures to lead their balanced scoring attack. Jenkins and Hart were aided by Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo and Darryl Reynolds in carrying the offensive load for the Wildcats.

.188: Villanova held Xavier to just 6-of-32 (.188) from beyond the arc, tying their third-best three-point defensive effort of the season.

Up Next…

No. 3 Villanova (16-1, 4-1 Big East) @ St. John’s (8-10, 2-3 Big East) -- Sat., Jan. 14, 12:00 PM

No. 15 Xavier (13-3, 3-1 Big East ) @ No. 12 Butler (14-2, 3-1 Big East) -- Sat., Jan. 14, 2:00 PM

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