Xavier Wins Big East Rock Fight over Villanova 56-53
(Photo by Trent Grayson/ @Mr_Kentucky24)
On Wednesday night, the Xavier Musketeers hosted the Villanova Wildcats in a game both teams were in great need of a victory. The offenses of both teams left a lot to be desired, but the defenses kept both teams alive in a good ole Big East Conference rock fight.
Xavier jumped out to a big lead to start the game holding a 14-4 lead going into the second media timeout but Villanova's defense responded holding the Musketeers scoreless for nearly six minutes. Although the Wildcats offense wasn't setting the world on fire they were able to go on a 10-0 run during that time to take the 22-19 lead.
Brendan Hausen and Eric Dixon each hit a three giving 'Nova a 5 point lead, but Quincy Olivari did what he has done all year hitting a three at the buzzer going into the half to cut the Villanova lead to just two points, 28-26.
🚨🚨 𝘘𝘜𝘐𝘕𝘊𝘠 𝘖𝘓𝘐𝘝𝘈𝘙𝘐 𝘉𝘌𝘈𝘛𝘚 𝘛𝘏𝘌 𝘉𝘜𝘡𝘡𝘌𝘙 🚨🚨 pic.twitter.com/F7Xnd8uHYb— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 8, 2024
Coming into the second period, Xavier took a one-point lead going into the first media timeout of the half from a Desmond Claude jump shot. After Eric Dixon had a layup for Villanova, Xavier went on 9-0 run to make it a 42-35 game, Dayvion McKnight had 5 huge points of his own during that run. Freshman Dailyn Swain had the other points, contributing to what was the best game of his Xavier career so far.
TJ Bamba had 4 points for Villanova to keep the game close but Trey Green had a huge three to put Xavier back up six.
Trey Green for 3️⃣! pic.twitter.com/6JApVULjVq— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 8, 2024
Villanova then went on a 5-0 run with more suffocating defense holding Xavier scoreless for a few minutes until Quincy Olivari, the reigining Big East player of the week knocked down another three, giving Xavier a 49-45 advantage.Villanova was able to tie the game up then the freshman Swain came up big yet again with a Dunk putting Xavier back in the lead.
Claude ➡️ Swain 💪 pic.twitter.com/C3lqsYTVyX— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) February 8, 2024
After some brutal offense on both sides Olivari drove to the rim drawing a foul with just 18 seconds remaining knocking down both free-throws to make it a 56-53 lead. Xavier then used their final timeout.
Villanova came out of the timeout looking for a shot but Xavier switched everyone on defense to keep the Wildcats from shooting, giving Xavier the 56-53 win.
Xavier is now 13-10 overall, and 7-5 in Big East play which is good for a 4th place tie with their next opponent the Creighton Blue Jays who took a loss to Providence Wednesday night in overtime.
Tip-off is at 12:30 PM Est and the game will air on Fox.