Philadelphia PA: An Big East battle came to the Wells Fargo Center in South Philadelphia on Friday night as the Villanova Wildcats took on Xavier Musketeers. Villanova came into the game with 13-4, 4-0 in Big East and off a win over Creighton on January 13 while the Musketeers head into battle with Wildcats at 11-7, 3-2 in Big East & off a win over Butler also on January 13. Villanova would return to the AP Top 25 as they would come in at number 22.
Before the game, Villanova would announce that forward Cole Swider will be sidelined for an undetermined period after he suffered a fractured bone in his right (shooting) hand in practice Thursday.
Swider Sidelined by Fractured Bone in Right Handhttps://t.co/MlWRc9MJuG pic.twitter.com/HIN3qDDlJT
— Villanova MBB (@NovaMBB) January 19, 2019
Early in the first half, Xavier would bring the fight to the Wildcats and would have an 8-6 lead with 16:27 left. the Wildcats would wake up and that would retake the lead on a three-pointer fromSaddiq Bay which made it 11-8 with 15:20 left. Villanova would get their three-point shooting going as they would make 8 of them, Xavier would hit their first 3 of the game with 5:30 left in half. Villanova would lead 39-31 at halftime.
In the second half, Xavier would go on a run and make things interesting, Wildcats would answer the run lead by 3 pointers from Colin Gillespie & Phil Booth and the Wells Fargo Center would go crazy as they like what they saw.
The @WellsFargoCtr rocking as Villanova on 8-0 run#Villanova #NOVAvsXavier pic.twitter.com/4xf4HvX5Ds
— David Malandra Jr (@David_Malandra) January 19, 2019
Xavier would try to keep the game close but they would run out of time as a crowd of 12,103 would see Villanova take down Xavier 85-75. The Wildcats would make 15 three-pointers in the victory. Villanova Colin Gillespie was one of the stars of the game as he would make all of his points from three-point range.
With the win, Villanova now goes to 14-4, 5-0 in Big East Play and they would go on the road to take on Butler on January 22. Xavier falls to 11-8, 3-3 in Big East and will try to get back to their winning ways as they take on Providence on January 23.
Phil Booth: 22 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists
Collin Gillespie: 18 points all from 3 PT Range, 6-10 from 3 pt range
Eric Paschall: 17 points, 8 rebounds
Tyrique Jones: 21 points, 12 rebounds
Naji Marshall: 15 points, 6 rebounds
Zach Hankins & Quentin Goodin each with 12 points
Villanova Coach Jay Wright:
Xavier Coach Travis Steele:
The next time that Villanova plays at Wells Fargo Center will be on Sunday, January 27 against Seton Hall.