Hartford, Conn. — Top-ranked Villanova didn’t shoot particularly well against UConn, but routed their former Big East rivals thanks to defense and rebounding.
Jalen Brunson scored 23 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 17 points off the bench to lead the Wildcats to an 81-61 win, completing their non-conference schedule at 13-0.
Jalen Adams scored 19 and Christian Vital had 15 for UConn (10-9), which has now lost five games this season by at least 20 points.
The Wildcats (18-1) hit just two of their first 13 shots, but still led 13-5 early after seven offensive boards and a pair of 3-pointers by DiVincenzo.
A jumper from Adams brought the Huskies within five points at 21-16, but that would be the last time UConn threatened.
“We weren’t really too worried about it,” DiVincenzo said. “We were just trying to get back on the defensive end and just get stops. I think after that we missed four or five straight, but we got back to the offensive glass every time.”
Villanova scored 18 of the final 20 points before intermission and the rout was on. A lob from Brunson to Eric Paschell gave the Wildcats their first double-digit lead at 26-16. They headed to halftime up 39-18 and the sellout crowd serenaded the Huskies with a chorus of boos .
Another 3-pointer from DiVincenzo gave Villanova a 70-39 lead midway through the second half , and sent many of those same fans to the exits.
“When we separated, we got it going off our defense,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright. “Jay (Brunson) got some steals, (Phil) Booth got some steals, kicked ahead to Jay. So, I think it was still our defensive rebounding.”
Since the breakup of the old Big East, both teams have won national titles — UConn in 2014 and Villanova in 2016. But the programs seem to be headed in opposite directions. The Wildcats are 147-18 since joining the new Big East and 50-5 since the start of the 2016-17season. UConn is 103-60 in the same span, but just 26-26 the last two seasons.
“We’ve just got to keep fighting,” said UConn coach Kevin Ollie. “We can go down the list of what we need. I wish I had a 7-footer, 7-2 guy. I wish I had a premier, all athletes, all shooters. But at the end of the day, we got heart.”
No. 3 Purdue 87, (at) Iowa 64: Carsen Edwards scored 22 points and Vincent Edwards had 19, leading Purdue to its 15th straight victory.
P.J. Thompson added 14 points for the Boilermakers (19-2, 8-0 Big Ten). Purdue ended a four-game road losing streak against the Hawkeyes (10-11, 1-7) by making 20 of 33 3-pointers.
Purdue reeled off 18 straight points to lead 24-6. The Boilermakers extended their lead to 24 late in the first half after hitting 10 of 11 3s in one stretch and were up 51-20 at halftime.
Purdue shot 69 percent in the first half while holding the Hawkeyes to 25 percent.
Luka Gazra had 19 points for Iowa, which has dropped five of its last six games.
(At) Oklahoma State 83, No. 4 Oklahoma 81: Trae Young scored 48 points, but missed a deep 3 at the buzzer in overtime as Oklahoma fell to Oklahoma State.
Young, a freshman guard who leads the nation in scoring, had 34 points after halftime. He matched the fifth-highest scoring effort in Sooners’ history after also missing a 3-point try at the end of regulation. He shot 14 for 39 — he was 8 for 20 on 3-pointers — and made all 12 of his free throws.
Jeffrey Carroll had 23 points and 13 rebounds and Kendall Smith added 20 points for Oklahoma State (13-6, 3-4 Big 12). Smith’s 3 with 8 seconds left in regulation tied it at 73.
The Cowboys went on to post their first win over a Top 10 team for first-year coach Mike Boynton.
Oklahoma (14-4, 4-3) was coming off a loss to Kansas State. The Sooners had beaten Oklahoma State 109-89 in Norman on Jan. 3.
(At) No. 5 Duke 81, Pittsburgh 54: Freshman Wendell Carter Jr. had 21 points on 9-for-10 shooting while Duke shot 52 percent in its win over Pittsburgh.
Fellow rookie Marvin Bagley III added 20 points for the Blue Devils (17-2, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference), who cruised to a second easy win against the Panthers in 10 days. Duke won the first meeting on the road by 35 points, amd then led by 22 points at halftime on the way to another blowout margin against Pitt (8-12, 0-7).
Grayson Allen managed to steady his recently wayward shot for an afternoon, too. The senior scored 16 points and made four 3-pointers after struggling throughout ACC play.
Parker Stewart scored 15 points for the Panthers, who shot 41 percent.
(At) No. 6 West Virginia 86, Texas 51: Jevon Carter scored 22 points and led a big second-half run that propelled West Virginia to victory over Texas.
James “Beetle” Bolden added 19 points, Daxter Miles Jr. scored 15 and Sagaba Konate had 10 points, 14 rebounds and six blocks for West Virginia (16-3, 5-2 Big 12), which had lost its previous two games.
This time, West Virginia held onto a double-digit lead in the second half after surrendering such leads in losses to No. 8 Texas Tech and No. 10 Kansas.
Texas (12-7, 3-4 Big 12) went through long scoring droughts in each half. It marked the first time this season the Longhorns didn’t have a player scoring in double digits. Mo Bamba, Kerwin Roach and Jacob Young each finished with nine points.
(At) Houston 73, No. 7 Wichita State 59: Seventh-ranked Wichita State lost its second straight game as Houston beat a Top 10 team for the first time in 22 years, with Rob Gray scoring 24 points.
Wichita State (15-4, 5-2 American Athletic Conference) fell to SMU 83-78 on Wednesday. The Shockers shot a season-low 33 percent and committed 18 turnovers in this latest loss.
Gray was 10 of 21 from the field as the Cougars (15-4, 5-2) posted their first win over a Top 10 team since beating No. 3 Memphis 69-67 on Jan. 6, 1996. Corey Davis Jr. added 17 points and eight rebounds and Devin Davis had 12 points and seven rebounds for Houston.
Houston built its lead to 42-28 on Gray’s layup two minutes into the second half, but the Shockers answered with an 8-0 run. The Cougars responded with a 12-4 burst, including seven points by Gray, and kept pulling away.
Shaquille Morris had 12 points and seven rebounds for Wichita State, which had won 11 straight on the road. The Shockers lost back-to-back conference games for the first time since 2012-13.
(At) Iowa State 70, No. 8 Texas Tech 52: Freshman Cameron Lard scored 18 points and Iowa State cruised past Texas Tech for its first win over a ranked opponent this season.
Nick Weiler-Babb, Lindell Wigginton and Donovan Jackson each added 13 points for the Cyclones (11-7, 2-5 Big 12), who handed the Red Raiders (15-4, 4-3) their second straight loss to an unranked opponent on the road.
The Cyclones jumped ahead 31-18 late in the first half. That seemed to wake up the Red Raiders, who responded with a run to go up 35-34.
But Iowa State answered with a 13-1 burst capped by Wigginton’s jumper that gave put the Cyclones ahead 47-36. Weiler-Babb’s desperation 3 to beat the shot clock made it 57-40 with 7:26 left. He buried another clock-beating 3 on a turnaround to push the lead to 69-49.
Zhaire Smith had 10 points for Tech, whose leading scorer Keenan Evans was held to seven points on 2 of 12 shooting.
(At) No. 10 Kansas 70, Baylor 67: Malik Newman scored seven of his game-high 24 points in the closing minutes, Baylor turned the ball over on the final inbounds play and Kansas rallied to beat the Bears.
The Jayhawks (16-3, 6-1 Big 12) trailed 67-61 with 2:05 to go before Newman went on his scoring binge, giving them the slimmest of leads again. The Bears (12-7, 2-5) had a couple of chances after that, but Manu Lecomte missed a 3-pointer and his layup attempt high off the glass with three seconds left was no good.
Devonte Graham added a pair of free throws before Baylor squandered a chance at the final shot.
It was the Jayhawks’ 11th consecutive win over the Bears (12-7, 2-5), who have never won in 16 tries in Lawrence.
Graham finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Udoka Azubuike had 14 points and seven boards, but he was just 4 of 11 from the foul line and missed two crucial ones late.
Jo Lual-Acuil Jr. had 14 points and 12 rebounds before fouling out for Baylor.
No. 11 Xavier 73, (at) No. 19 Seton Hall 64: JP Macura scored a season-high 27 points and Xavier handed Seton Hall its first loss at home by rallying from a 10-point second-half deficit.
Trevon Bluiett added 15 and the Musketeers (18-3, 6-2 Big East) held Seton Hall to seven points in the final 6:42 in winning their third straight after two straight losses.
Desi Rodridguez, who picked up three fouls in the first half, had 13 of his 19 points in the second half for the Pirates (15-5, 4-3), who lost for the first time in 12 home games. Khadeen Carrington added 14 points and Angel Delgado had eight points and 18 rebounds.
(At) No. 12 Cincinnati 86, East Carolina 60: Jacob Evans and Kyle Washington each scored 17 points, and Gary Clark had 14 points and 14 rebounds, lifting Cincinnati past East Carolina.
Clark’s double-double was the 25th of his career, and Jarron Cumberland added 14 points for the Bearcats (17-2, 6-0 American Athletic Conference), who have won 10 straight.
Shawn Williams scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half for East Carolina (8-11, 2-6). He was a perfect 5-for-5 from the floor and 3-for-3 from 3-point range in the first half, but cooled off after halftime. Isaac Fleming also scored 15 for the Pirates.
The Bearcats scored 19 points off 15 Pirates turnovers. Cincinnati recorded nine steals.
No. 13 Gonzaga 75, (at) Santa Clara 60: Zach Norvell Jr. scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, and Gonzaga bounced back from its first conference loss of the season to beat Santa Clara.
Josh Perkins added 17 points on 6-of-7 shooting, Rui Hachimura scored 16 points and Killian Tillie had 12. Johnathan Williams had nine points and eight boards for Gonzaga (17-4, 7-1 West Coast Conference), including his 400th career rebound.
Two days after a 74-71 home loss to Saint Mary’s that ended Gonzaga’s six-game winning streak, the Bulldogs had trouble shaking the pesky Broncos (7-13, 4-4) until Norvell found his stroke after halftime.
KJ Feagin scored 21 points for the Broncos.
No. 14 Arizona 73, (at) Stanford 71: Rawle Alkins made a go-ahead layup with 38 seconds remaining, and Arizona held on for a comeback win over Stanford to take sole possession of first place in the Pac-12.
Allonzo Trier, who led the Wildcats (16-4, 6-1 Pac-12) with 21 points, added three free throws in the final 18 seconds for Arizona, which trailed by 11 points midway through the second half. Dusan Ristic added 18 points and nine rebounds and Alkins scored 13 for the Wildcats, who have won 16 straight against the Cardinal.
Reid Travis had 20 points for Stanford (11-9, 5-2), which had defeated No. 16 Arizona State three days earlier and was on a five-game winning streak.
The game was tied at 46 when Stanford went on an 11-0 run that included a technical foul on Arizona coach Sean Miller. The Wildcats responded with their own 11-point run, tying the game on a 3-pointer by Trier with 6:20 remaining.
(At) No. 15 North Carolina 80, Georgia Tech 66: Luke Maye had 17 points and 11 rebounds, and North Carolina beat Georgia Tech.
Theo Pinson added 11 points and 10 rebounds, and Joel Berry II and Cameron Johnson finished with 16 points apiece to help the Tar Heels (16-4, 5-2 Atlantic Coast Conference).
They shot 42 percent and dominated the glass, building a 46-25 rebounding advantage and scoring 26 second-chance points to Georgia Tech’s four.
Jose Alvarado scored 17 points and hit four 3-pointers, including one that pulled the Yellow Jackets to 70-62 with about 3½ minutes left.
Josh Okogie led Georgia Tech (10-9, 3-3) with 18 points, while Ben Lammers and Abdoulaye Gueye each had 12.
Florida 66, (at) No. 18 Kentucky 64: Jalen Hudson came off the bench to score 17 points, and Chris Chiozza, Keith Stone and Kevarrius Hayes contributed clutch baskets down the stretch as Florida rallied to upset Kentucky.
The first-place Gators (14-5, 6-1 Southeastern Conference) saw their 45-37 second-half lead become a 56-53 deficit before they regrouped behind Chiozza’s 3-pointer, Hayes’ jumper and Stone’s layup to go ahead 62-58 with 2:02 remaining. KeVaughn Allen added two free throws with 44 seconds left before Hudson made two more from the line, shots that offset 3-pointers by Kevin Knox and Wenyen Gabriel.
Stone’s missed free throw gave Kentucky a chance to tie at the end, but Florida denied drives by Quade Green and PJ Washington before stealing the inbounds pass with 2.5 seconds left to win for eighth time in nine tries and take a two-game SEC lead on the Wildcats (14-5, 4-3).
Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Wenyen Gabriel had 10 points each for Kentucky, which lost its second in a row and third of five.
(At) No. 20 Clemson 67, Notre Dame 58: Gabe DeVoe had 17 points, including a crucial 3-pointer with 3:18 to go, and Clemson got its first-ever win over Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish (13-7, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) rallied with two straight 3s to draw within 59-56. That’s when freshman Amir Simms hit Clemson’s ninth 3-pointer with 1:02 to go to extend the lead.
Notre Dame could not come back as it lost its fourth straight. The Fighting Irish had a 5-0 all-time mark over the Tigers, and Clemson barely escaped continuing a second streak of failure in the same week: The Tigers fell to 0-59 all-time at Chapel Hill with their 87-78 loss to North Carolina on Tuesday night.
Shelton Mitchell and Marcquise Reed scored 12 points each for the Tigers (16-3, 5-2).
TJ Gibbs led Notre Dame with 18 points.
No. 21 Tennessee 70, (at) South Carolina 63: Lamonte Turner matched his career high with 25 points, and Tennessee pounded the ball inside to get past South Carolina.
With the scored tied at 59, Turner made a short jumper and found Admiral Schofield in the corner for a 3-pointer on a fast break, and Tennessee (13-5, 4-3 Southeastern Conference) led the rest of the way.
Turner also made all 10 of his free throws, including four in the final 36 seconds as the Volunteers snapped a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks (12-7, 3-4).
Tennessee outscored South Carolina 32-16 in the paint, getting both of the Gamecocks’ main big men in foul trouble.
Justin Minaya and Wesley Myers each scored 16 points to lead the Gamecocks.
No. 22 Ohio State 67, Minnesota 49: At New York, Keita Bates-Diop had 17 points and 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the season, leading Ohio State over Minnesota at Madison Square Garden for its seventh straight win.
Ohio State’s first-year coach Chris Holtmann is the third Big Ten coach to win his first eight conference games. Sam Barry won 11 straight for Iowa in 1923 and Walter Meanwell holds the record with 12 for Wisconsin in 1912.
The Buckeyes (17-4, 8-0 Big Ten) used a 24-2 burst to overcome a 10-point deficit midway through the first half. They stayed in control, and went on to match last season’s win total — with 10 regular season game remaining — to remain in a first-place tie with No. 3 Purdue (19-2, 8-0).
Kaleb Wesson added 15 points and eight rebounds for Ohio State.
Amir Coffey, who missed five games because of a shoulder injury, scored 11 points in 35 minutes for the Golden Gophers (14-8, 3-6).
(At) Kansas State 73, No. 24 TCU 68: Dean Wade scored 20 points and Kansas State beat TCU.
Sophomore Makol Mawien added a career-high 18 points on 8 of 11 shooting. He had totaled just 13 points in Big 12 play this season for the Wildcats (14-5, 4-3).
Coming off a win over No. 4 Oklahoma earlier in the week, the Wildcats raced to a 7-0 lead.
TCU coach Jamie Dixon was called for a technical foul later in the first half, then drew another tech in the second half and was ejected. The Kansas State crowd serenaded Dixon as he walked off, and TCU assistant David Patrick took over.
Vlad Brodziansky scored 15 points for the Horned Frogs (14-5, 2-5).