If this is how the Big East continues to play, we all in for a treat.
#1 Villanova went into Hinkie Fieldhouse following a win over DePaul earlier in the week, with Butler coming off of a double-overtime thriller against Georgetown.
Butler and Villanova were neck and neck in the first half. Tied at 28, Butler pulled away behind extremely hot shooting as well as a huge contribution from Sean McDermott. Butler busted Villanova wide open in the second half, and by the 9:22 mark Villanova was down 81-60.
Villanova mounted a comeback, spearheaded by Jalen Brunson, Mikal Bridges and Eric Paschall. Butler had gone scoreless for almost 3 minutes. Back and forth, 3s and quick layups were exchanged.
Just like that however, Butler’s Kamar Baldwin and Kelan Martin retook control of the game, ultimately defeating the Wildcats 101-93.
For Butler, Kamar Baldwin dropped 19 points, adding 9 rebounds and 7 assists to his totals. Kelan Martin poured 24 points and 8 rebounds. Craig McDermott chipped in 10 points off the bench. One surprising performance came from Paul Jorgensen, notching 23 points. As a team, Butler shot an astounding 68% from behind the arc, as well as shooting 60% from the field. These feats carried them to victory.
Villanova saw most of their production coming from Jalen Brunson, who scored 31 points along with Mikal Bridges adding 21 points and 3 steals. Eric Paschall chipped in 15 points and Donte DiVincenzo adding 16 off the bench. Villanova did shoot a very good 54% from the field, but as a team shot only 38% from behind the arc, which would limit their success. Another issue they faced was the inability to get to the foul line s, only 9 attempts at the line today.
Butler would like to continue their hot shooting as they go on the road to face Xavier.
Villanova plays Marquette next at home.