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Live Coverage: Xavier vs. Villanova in Big East Championship

That’s it from MSG folks. Thanks to all who kept up with me here and engaged with me on Twitter and such. It was truly an honor covering this historic conference’s championship. It’s been a blast and once again congrats to a truly fantastic team in Villanova, who from wire to wire proved without a shadow of a doubt they were the Big East’s best! I already can’t wait for next year!

Sixth-man extraordinaire Josh Hart wins Most Outstanding Player and the Nova fans are just  blowing the roof off the Garden.

Final Stats

Villanova shoots .500 from the field, .391 from three-point range and .706 from the foul line. Ennis leads team with 16 points, while Hart and Hilliard chip in 15 and 12 respectively. Xavier shoots just .379 percent from the field, an ugly .133 percent from three-point range (2-15) and just .667 percent from the foul line. Jalen Reynolds and Dee Davis each score 13 apiece for Musketeeers.

And there you have it folks, Villanova is your Big East regular season and postseason tournament winners. Villanova puts away a gutsy, gritty Xavier team by a 69-52 score. They are no doubt getting a No.1 seed now and finish their season  32-2 and 16-2 in the Big East. Meanwhile, Xavier finishes 21-13 and will no doubt be dancing come tomorrow, as they have done enough to secure a spot

Up 20, Arcidiacono goes diving on the floor for a loose ball. This proves the embodiment of this team and program. Let’s go Nova chants raining down! The walk-ons are now in.

SATURDAY, MARCH 14, 2015
XAVIER MUSKETEERS
@
VILLANOVA WILDCATS
Xavier
Musketeers
52  69 Villanova
Wildcats
Final 1 2 Score
Xavier 21 31 52
Villanova 34 35 69
22-58 Field Goals 24-48
2-15 Three Pointers 9-23
6-9 Free Throws 12-17
12 Assists 15
29 Rebounds 35
5 Steals 6
1 Blocks 4
9 Turnovers 13
17 Fouls 14
Xavier Musketeers – Players
Player Min FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
R. Abell (guard) 31 3-8 1-4 0-2 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 7
T. Bluiett (forward) 29 1-6 0-1 0-0 0 2 2 2 0 0 2 3 2
D. Davis (guard) 36 4-11 0-4 5-5 0 3 3 6 1 0 1 4 13
J. Farr (forward) 25 3-4 1-1 0-0 2 5 7 0 1 0 1 4 7
M. Stainbrook (center) 21 2-8 0-0 0-0 1 2 3 1 0 0 2 1 4
Player Min FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
L. Austin Jr. (guard) 8 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 2 2 1 1 0 1 0 0
M. Davis (guard) 21 2-9 0-5 0-0 0 1 1 2 1 0 1 1 4
S. O`Mara (forward,center) 5 1-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2
J. Reynolds (forward) 24 6-11 0-0 1-2 1 3 4 0 0 1 0 3 13
Villanova Wildcats – Players
Player Min FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
R. Arcidiacono (guard) 29 1-5 1-3 0-0 0 3 3 1 1 0 0 2 3
D. Ennis (guard) 31 5-11 2-5 4-5 0 6 6 3 0 1 2 1 16
D. Hilliard (guard) 32 4-10 3-7 1-2 0 4 4 2 2 1 2 0 12
D. Ochefu (forward) 21 2-3 0-0 0-0 3 4 7 2 0 1 3 0 4
J. Pinkston (forward) 22 2-3 0-0 3-4 1 3 4 3 1 0 2 3 7
Player Min FGM-A 3PM-A FTM-A OREB DREB REB AST STL BLK TO PF PTS
P. Booth (guard) 16 2-4 2-4 2-2 0 0 0 2 0 0 1 5 8
P. Farrell (forward) 1 0-1 0-1 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0
J. Hart (guard) 28 7-9 1-2 0-2 2 5 7 1 1 1 2 1 15
K. Jenkins (forward) 16 1-2 0-1 2-2 0 1 1 1 1 0 0 2 4
H. Lowe (guard) 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
K. Rafferty (forward) 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
D. Reynolds (forward) 2 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

It’s getting loud and proud here!

And we have arrived at the final media timeout and it’s only a matter of time until the Wildcats are cutting down the nets.  The Wildcats are now up 67-49 over Xavier with 3:21 to go. The Nova fans can feel it! It would be their first Big East Tournament title since 1995.

Timeout by Chris Mack and his Musketeers still down 20 with 5:45 to go. It all but appears academic for the Wildcats, as they are in cruise control. They are shooting 51 percent from the field, 43 percent from three-point range and 67 percent from the foul line.

Just 7:38 to go and Villanova is clearly in control, up 61-41 and looking to put the final nail in Xavier’s coffin. Second chances and costly mistakes hurting the Musketeers. Also, anyone see that kick to the table by Mack? I think he made it malfunction, lol. He’s clearly unhappy.

11:40 left in the game and Villanova is still in charge and seizing their opportunity. Wildcats now lead the Musketeers 50-35 and are shooting 54 percent from three-point range, whereas Xavier is shooting a measly 11 percent from three-point territory. That, obviously, is a huge factor in the game.

After four days at he Garden, the MVP might be Molly McGrath. She’s talked about here more than any other player.

First media timeout and Villanova goes out in front of Xavier, 44-29. Wildcats open up with 8-0 run, before Xavier fights back with a 8-2 run of their own. Still, Villanova has grasp of this game.

At the half, Villanova leads Xavier 34-21. Villanova is imparting their will and look likes a team that wants this Big East Crown and assure themselves a No.1 seed on Selection Sunday. Josh Hart, Hilliard and Ennis have combined to score 24 of Nova’s 34 points. Villanova is shooting .520 percent from the field, .455 from three-point range and 3-4 from the foul line.

Xavier is getting a good game from Abell (leads Musketeers with seven points) and as a team Xavier is shooting .333 percent from the field, .143 percent (1-7) from three-point range and 0-2 at the free-throw line.

Big three from Remy Abell to bring Musketeers to within 13 with 32 seconds left. Jay Wright calls timeout. Xavier could use a stop here

Last media timeout before half and Villanova has extended it’s lead over Xavier, 30-16 with 3:31 to go. Villanova getting hot from deep and are now5-11 from three-point range. The ball movement from the Wildcats is something to truly marvel

Villanova erupts for 8-2 run and Chris Mack wants a timeout. This could get ugly if Xavier doesn’t respond here

7:47 to go in the first half and Villanova leads Xavier 17-12. Both teams playing great defense. Villanova is shooting 41 percent from the field, while Xavier is shooting 33 percent.

11:42 to go and Villanova leads Xavier, 13-8. Wildcats come out and establish their presence and go on 8-2 run and Ochefu will be going to line for two FT’s after break.

First media timeout and Xavier leads Villanova 6-4. Ennis with all five of Nov’s points, while Abell has four of the Musketeers six points. Teams are clearly feeding off the crowd.

Starters for tonight’s game:

Villanova: Daniel Ochefu, JayVaughn Pinkston, Ryan Arcidiacono, Dylan Ennis and Darrun Hilliard.

Xavier: Trevon Bluiett, James Farr, Matt Stainbrook, Remy Abell and Dee Davis.

Here we go folks. Villanova and Xavier will go at it for all the marbles! What a lively and energetic crowd about ready to blow the roof off MSG.

Today’s U is live from the Big East Tournament at Madison Square Garden as the Xavier Musketeers take on the Villanova Wildcats in the finals at 8:00ET. We’ll have up-to-the-second courtside coverage from Dan Stack. Follow him on Twitter @StacDemon and get full Championship Week and Selection Sunday coverage @TodaysUSports.

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