Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COLLEGE BASKETBALL - TOP 25 ; No. 5 Xavier Knocks off No. 1 Villanova 90-83

Newspaper article Charleston Gazette Mail

COLLEGE BASKETBALL - TOP 25 ; No. 5 Xavier Knocks off No. 1 Villanova 90-83

Article excerpt

CINCINNATI - J.P. Macura got Xavier rolling with 19 points off the bench, and freshman point guard Edmond Sumner had 19 points and nine assists as fifth-ranked Xavier got the win that had eluded it, knocking off top-ranked Villanova 90-83 on Wednesday night. The Musketeers (25-3, 13-3) led most of the way in the first matchup of Top 5 teams since the Big East was reconfigured, pulling away at the end against the only team they'd never beaten in league play.

Villanova (24-4, 13-2) was the first No. 1 team to play in the Cintas Center, which opened for the 2000-01 season. The Wildcats couldn't overcome foul trouble or Xavier's balance, losing for only the second time in their last 18 games.

Xavier got ahead by 15 points late and held on with free throws. The Musketeers dominated the boards 42-33.

Kris Jenkins scored 22 for Villanova but fouled out with 8:47 left. Daniel Ochefu also sat most of the second half with four fouls.

It was one of those measuring-up games for Xavier, which aspired to be one of the Big East's best when it left the Atlantic 10. The Musketeers had beaten every team except Villanova - going 0-6 - in the reconfigured league and knew this was the last obstacle to challenging the Wildcats' hold on the top of the league.

Sumner fell hard in the opening minutes of Villanova's 95-64 win at Philadelphia on Dec. 31 and was taken to a hospital with a concussion. He missed three games and has finally gotten back into form in the last few weeks, scoring 20 points twice in the last six games.

He made a driving bank shot to open the game on Wednesday, showing he was ready to make a difference.

Jenkins made three of his first four shots from beyond the arc, including one that sparked a 7-0 run and put Villanova ahead 19-13, its biggest lead of the game. The Wildcats made eight of their first 11 shots.

Macura scored all of the points during a 7-0 run - two layups and a three-point play - that got Xavier rolling on a 14-3 surge. Macura's back-to-back 3-pointers pushed it to 36-27.

No. 7 North Carolina 80, NC State 68

RALEIGH, N.C. - Brice Johnson had 22 points and 11 rebounds to help No. 7 North Carolina beat North Carolina State.

Justin Jackson added 17 points for the Tar Heels (23-5, 12-3 Atlantic Coast Conference), who shook off a slow start and an early 13-point hole to extend their recent dominance against their nearby rivals. …

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