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Creighton knocks off Villanova, 76-61

The Bluejays put the Wildcats in the loss column on Saturday afternoon.

Creighton v Villanova Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Denzel Mahoney went off for 21 points in the Creighton Bluejays’ 76-61 victory over the Villanova Wildcats on Saturday.

Creighton was locked in right from the jump in this game. They jumped out to an early 11-5 lead thanks to a litany of buckets by Ty-Shon Alexander, Marcus Zegarowski and Mitch Ballock. Zegarowski, Mahoney and Ballock then scored on three straight buckets to build the lead up to 10, and Alexander continued the assault by hitting three straight 3-pointers. The Jays were up by as many as 17 in the first half and carried a 12-point lead into the break.

‘Nova would get things down to as slim a margin as three in the second half. But Creighton was able to withstand the rush and kept themselves upright. They would go on to barrel through their adversaries and won by 15 of course by the time the clock hit triple zeroes.

It was a rather stirring performance by Mahoney, as the former SEMO transfer helped to throttle the Wildcats. They couldn’t quite contain him at all from wire to wire, and it truly showed by game’s end. It was Mahoney’s first 20-point effort as a Bluejay, and the sixth straight game in which he poured into double figures and the 10th game of the season that he’s achieved such a feat.

Mahoney was not the only Bluejay to put up double digits though. He was joined by the likes of Marcus Zegarowski, Mitch Ballock and Ty-Shon Alexander. That trio picked up 13, 15 and 16 points respectively, as the quartet of double-figure scorers really helped to do a number on the ‘Cats.

Villanova was rather disarmed on Saturday. They only collected two double figure scorers, as Collin Gillespie and Justin Moore each dropped 18 points. Saddiq Bey came close with nine and Jermaine Samuels had eight, but scoring was hard to come by otherwise. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl put up six points while Cole Swider had just two on the day. Brandon Slater had zero points in four minutes of action.

With the Seton Hall Pirates’ loss on Saturday, Villanova certainly failed to pounce on the fact that they could be tied up with them in the loss column. Now they are still one game back of the Pirates, who remain in first place in the Big East standings. The win for Creighton though has its fair share of impact. They’re now 6-3 in league play, which means they’re now up to third place in the standings. The Butler Bulldogs’ loss to the Providence Friars helps their cause, as Butler currently has a H2H tiebreaker over the Bluejays. But now, the Dawgs are 5-3 in league play, meaning they are looking up at the Jays in the standings.