No. 3 Villanova made 16 3-pointers and defeated the Creighton men’s basketball team 83-58 on Wednesday night at The Pavillion.
Villanova used a 25-8 run to end the first half and erase a 24-20 Creighton lead to help the Wildcats improve to 9-1 in Big East play and hand the Bluejays their third consecutive loss.
Phil Booth’s layup to close the opening 20 minutes pushed the Wildcats’ lead to 13.
Villanova equaled its strong end to the first half by scoring on five of its first seven possessions following halftime to take a 19-point lead.
The Wildcats led by as many as 31, and Creighton never cut the lead to less than 18 during the final 16 minutes.
The Bluejays opened Wednesday’s game going blow-for-blow with the host Wildcats.
Creighton (14-9, 5-5 Big East) and Villanova traded four 3-point field goals for a 12-12 tie at the first media timeout and the Bluejays built their largest lead of the game with 8:05 to play in the first half.
Sophomore Toby Hegner’s 3-pointer gave the Jays a four-point lead, 24-20.
Hegner’s successful try from beyond the arc was Creighton’s sixth 3-pointer in the first 12 minutes.
Villanova (19-3, 9-1 Big East) took control of the game using a 10-0 run over the next four minutes to take a 30-24 lead. ‘Nova did not trail the final 26 minutes of game time.
The Wildcats outscored the Bluejays 14-0 in second-chance points and made 12 of 12 shot from the free-throw line during the first 20 minutes.
After making seven 3-pointers in the first half, Villanova made 9 of 13 attempts from beyond the arc in the second half to finish at 55 percent for the game (16 of 29).
The Wildcats’ 16 3-point field goals were the most by any opponent in Creighton history.
The Bluejays made four of their first five 3-pointers before making only 4 of 20 to close the game.
Kris Jenkins led Villanova with 22 points and Jalen Brunson added 16.
Junior guard Maurice Watson Jr. led the Bluejays with 16 points, including a career-high three 3-point field goals.
Creighton returns to action on Saturday afternoon. The Bluejays host DePaul at 1:01 p.m.