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Villanova vs. Creighton recap: Wildcats defeat Creighton in Omaha

Villanova shoots the lights out of the basketball and knocks off the Bluejays in Omaha 85-71. Nova was the only team that picked up a road win during the Big East marathon. Here how it all went down.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

1) When Wildcat stars shoot it like that, they are hard to stop

Over 17,000 fans left the CenturyLink Center in Omaha frustrated after being constantly silenced by the stars for Villanova. Josh Hart led the way with 25 points on 10-14 shooting from the field, five rebounds and two assists. Daniel Ochefu had 19 points on 9-10 shooting, seven boards and two blocks. Ochefu became the seventh Villanova player to record 150 career blocks in the win.

Freshman star Jalen Brunson also had a great shooting night as he finished with 15 points on 6-8 shooting from the field. Ryan Arcidiacono had 10 points, four rebounds and four assists in the victory. Villanova shot 68 percent from the field overall and 28-32 on two point shots, which is an astounding 87.5 percent. Not many teams can give that up and stay in the game let alone win it. It does not matter where Nova is on the floor, they continue to light it up.

2) Bad shooting night led to Creighton’s downfall

It is pretty simple for Creighton, if they shoot well they are dangerous. If they don’t, they are vulnerable. The Bluejays shot 45 percent from the field, but only 22 percent from deep. Creighton depends on three-point makes and players like Maurice Watson Jr., Toby Hegner and Khyri Thomas all came into the game shooting over 40 percent from deep. Isaiah Zierden and James Miliken are also threats from downtown. The five combined to shoot 5-18 from deep in the loss.

Coach Greg McDermott’s team can certainly surprise some teams this season in the Big East with that massive crowd in Omaha, but they need to find other ways to score when they struggle shooting from three. Bluejay big man Geoffrey Groselle had just one field goal attempt and finished with four points. Groselle’s field goal percentage entering the game was 75 percent. Creighton needed to try and get him more involved down low.

3) To be the champ, you have to beat the champ

The Villanova Wildcats sent a message to the rest of the Big East conference that they are still the team to beat in the conference. Nova ended Xavier’s winning streak with an impressive 95-64 victory in their conference opener and then went to Omaha, one of the toughest environments in college basketball, and pulled away to win again.

Xavier, Butler and Providence are ranked ahead of Villanova in the polls at the moment and will still need to go through the Wildcats if they want to win the Big East. Nova’s sharp shooting today followed the 13-25 shooting from deep in the victory over the sixth-ranked and unblemished Musketeers. Big East title challengers this season will need to get through Jay Wright’s bunch once again.