The Villanova Wildcats got off to great start in the Big East, defeating #6 Xavier 95-64.
Daniel Ochefu opened the scoring for the 'Cats with a lay-in but a quick Sumner 3 gave Xavier the lead. After an Arch lay-up Edmond Sumner was fouled hard and landed on by Kris Jenkins and was wheeled off on a stretcher. Jalen Reynolds took the free throws and made both putting the Musketeers back in the lead.
Arch hit his 2nd three and Mikal Bridges got a steal and a slam, giving the Wildcats a 14-5 lead. After another Bridges steal Brunson finished an and-one giving 'Nova a 17-5 lead after a 13-0 run.
Ryan Arcidiacono hit two more three's and assisted on a Phil Booth one, and after an O'Mara lay-in put 'Nova up 28-15. Another 3 from Booth gave 'Nova a 31-15 advantage at the under 12. Blueitt scored after a steal but Arch's 5th three of the game put 'Nova up by 19. At the under eight timeout 'Nova held a 20 point lead.
James Farr made a nice move on the offensive end for his 2nd field goal of the day. Bluiett broke Arch down off the dribble to make the score 41-23 in favor of 'Nova. J.P. Macura grabbed an offensive rebound and cut the lead to 17. Macura then committed his 3rd foul of the game and Brunson made both to make it 44-25.
With two minutes left in the half Ochefu backed down Jalen Reynolds to make the lead 19 and Kris Jenkins drew a charge, Bluiett's 3rd foul of the game. Kaiser Gates of Xavier made a three to then cut the lead to 16. Gates committed his 3rd foul of the game which lead to two Chef free throws and a 48-30 lead.
'Nova started off the 2nd half just like the 1st, a steal by Arch which lead to a Josh Hart lay-up followed by a Hart 3 and a turn around jumper, giving Hart his first 7 points 2 minutes into the 2nd half. Hart made it an 11-0 run of his own after knocking down 2 free throws and a dunk after a steal.
Hart made it 13 in a row after not scoring in the first half, forcing Xavier to call a timeout and giving 'Nova a 61-34 lead. Hart got called for his 4th foul when he got thrown down by Jalen Reynolds, and Bluiett knocked down two free throws. Chef knocked down a mid-range jumper and assisted on a Booth lay-in.
After Remy Abell went 1-2 from the line and Xavier got the offensive rebound followed by 2 Macura free throw's, the lead was down to 69-44. Arch responded with his 6th three of the game to make the lead 28. The lead went to 31 after a Kris Jenkins three and mid-range jumper.
Arch made his 7th three of the game, tying his career high for most in a game. An assist from Darryl Reynolds made it 27 for the senior, and 'Nova held an 88-58 lead at the under 4 timeout.
To top it off, Pat Farrell made his first 3 of the season, securing the 95-64 victory.
Ryan Arcidiacono led all scorers with 27, going 7-14 from 3 and racking up 8 assist. Josh Hart added 15 despite being in foul trouble and Kris Jenkins added 13. Daniel Ochefu had another double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds.
Jalen Brunson, who only played 17 minutes because of a stomach virus had 9 points and 2 assists. Coach Jay Wright said Jalen was taken to the hospital this morning and was "throwing up all over, not in shape to play, and was just giving them minutes."
Jay also added that "it's too early to say who the team to beat in the Big East is, but we can all agree that it's really good."
Both coaches said they were told Edomnd Sumner was walking and talking at the hospital.
Coach Chris Mack said "that's the scariest thing I've ever been apart of", and was visibly shaken.
On Saturday's matchup at Creighton Jay said, "they're good, they're really good. It's as tough a place to play as there is in the country. It's going to be a quick turnaround."
Villanova improves to 11-2, 1-0 in the Big East.