(Photo Courtesy of NCAA.com)
If I had told you there was a 20-2 scoring run over a nearly 10 minute span in this game and didn't tell you the team who had the edge, chances are you'd say that it was Villanova, right? They've dominated Xavier since the Musketeers entered the Big East conference. They're the defending NCAA champions, and as Jon Rothstein tweets, they're a "Fortune 500 Company." Whatever that means, Jon.
Phil Booth hit a huge three-point field goal to give Villanova a 6 point lead with 4:51 to go in the first half. That was a punch back after a huge Elias Harden three and from there, the fight was on for quite a bit of the game. Harden ended the back and forth battle when he hit yet another huge three to tie the game at 44 with 11:49 to go in the game, and from there it was the Musketeers day.
Naji Marshall lead Xavier through that big Xavier run scoring seven of the teams 20 points on their run to finish the day with 17 points. Marshall played down hill and very aggressive to finish this game for Xavier, but this was a run where everyone contributed to seal the victory. Tyrique Jones only scored 6 points today but he stayed on top of his teammates to keep the run going and pushing for more to finish the game off. Jones also had a few highlight reel dunks and one giant blocked shot that sent the Cintas crowd into a frenzy.
Paul Scruggs had two early fouls in the game where he missed a huge chunk of the first half and didn't pick up a single foul the rest of the game. Scruggs finished with 14 points on 4/7 shooting. This was a game where everyone needed to contribute for the Musketeers to win and they did just that. Xavier is now 15-13 overall, 7-8 in Big East play and now 4th in the Big East standings.
Xavier has just three more regular season games before heading to New York City for the Big East Tournament. Up next, a trip to St. John's on Thursday, February 28th at 6:30 PM EST on Fox Sports 1. St. John's has won 3 of their last 4 games including their most recent game with a victory over Seton Hall on Saturday behind a 27 point performance from star guard Shamorie Ponds.
Tim Daniel is the director of NCAA Content for the 48 Minutes Network. He is the host of 48 Minutes and At Large Bid here on the 48 Minutes Network. He also covers Xavier and Northern Kentucky University. If you wanna discuss today's big win for Xavier over Villanova, Give him a follow!