No. 6 Villanova went to Omaha, Neb., with revenge on its mind. Last time these teams met, Creighton poured in a Big East record 21 3-pointers and cruised to a 28-point victory in Philadelphia.
Bluejays forward Doug McDermott let the Wildcats know right off the bat on Sunday night that no revenge would be achieved on this night, leading No. 18 Creighton to a 101-80 victory over Villanova.
McDermott, who entered the game as the nation’s second-leading scorer (25.3 points per game) ripped off 39 points. His 22 first-half points let Creighton build a 50-37 lead, allowing the Bluejays to cruise to victory.
The 6-foot-8 senior forward fittingly buried a corner 3-pointer with 13:23 to go, passing Larry Bird and moving into 13th place on the NCAA’s all-time scoring list.
McDermott shot an efficient 13-of-17 from the field, including 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. The rest of his Bluejays teammates followed suit, shooting 34-of-53 as a team on the night, good for 64 percent.
Villanova was led by senior guard James Bell, who scored 18 points on 5-of-7 shooting (5-of-6 from 3-point range) before fouling out with 6:11 to go after being called for a flagrant 1 foul.
McDermott reeled off his team’s first 11 points, knocking down two 3-pointers as Creighton jumped out to an 11-6 lead.
A 3-pointer from Bell got Villanova to within 35-31 with 5:31 to play in the first half. From that point, though, Creighton finished the half on a 15-6 run. The Wildcats never got within 10 again.
Guard Isaiah Zierden scored 13 points and Grant Gibbs scored 11 points on a combined 8-of-9 shooting for Creighton. Guard Devin Brooks added 12 points while guard Austin Chapman chipped in seven points and eight assists.
Bluejays forward Ethan Wragge, who hit eight first-half 3-pointers in the teams’ first matchup, took just two shots this time, scoring five points.
Villanova forward JayVaughn Pinkston scored 15 points, all in the second half. Guard Dylan Ennis added 11 points off of the bench to join Bell and Pinkston in double digits.
NOTES: Before passing Larry Bird (2,850 points), forward Doug McDermott (2,863 points) moved by Otis Birdsong (2,832 points) in the first half… The win is Creighton’s 16th straight at home, matching its longest streak in the 11-year history at CenturyLink Center Omaha… The win gave Creighton two victories over top-10 teams in the same season (both against Villanova) for the first time in program history… In Wednesday’s win over DePaul, Villanova matched its best-ever 24-game stretch in program history at 22-2… Villanova plays its third straight road game on Tuesday night in Providence… Creighton travels to Milwaukee to take on Marquette on Wednesday
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