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Xavier falls to Villanova 85-75: Recap

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Villanova Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier stayed in the game for a while, trailing only 51-50 with 10:55 left in the game. But a Villanova run (and some friendly rolls) allowed the Wildcats to pull away for the 85-75 win.

Xavier and Villanova went back and forth through the first four minutes, with neither team leading by more than a basket. The Musketeers used their size to their advantage, getting all eight of their points in paint. Villanova kept pace by hitting two, three-pointers.

A 10-0 run for Villanova put them up 16-8, but Xavier fought back and trimmed the deficit to three, 21-18 with 10:09 remaining in the first half. Villanova were able to regain momentum after the timeout, and led 28-20 with 7:17 until the end of the first half.

Xavier was able to make it a two-point game, 29-27, but a 7-2 run from Villanova allowed them to maintain breathing room with 2:19 left in the first half. Villanova had another 6-0 run to push their lead to 39-29, but a last second floater by Quentin Goodin got Xavier within single-digits at halftime, 39-31.

Villanova was able to stretch their lead to 11, 44-33 during the first few minutes of the second half. However, an 8-0 Xavier run, punctuated by a Ryan Welage three, brought them back within three, with the score at 44-41.

It was back and forth after that, and the game was even for the next few minutes, as the score was 48-45 Villanova with 11:51 left in the game. Xavier pulled within one point, twice, and trailed only 51-50 before an 8-0 run put the Wildcats up 59-50 with just under nine minutes left.

Villanova led 62-52 with 7:58 left in the game after Eric Paschall drained three free throws. The Villanova run continued as they led 73-59 with 3:54 remaining in the game.

Xavier continued to fight, and fight hard, but Villanova managed to come away with the 85-75 win.

Tyrique Jones led the team in scoring and rebounding, scoring a career high 21 points while grabbing 12 rebounds. Naji Marshall finished with 15 points, six rebounds, and seven assists.

Goodin and Zach Hankins also scored in double-figures, scoring 12 points each.