Villanova uses balanced effort to best Butler


Justin Moore scored 15 points, Caleb Daniels added 13 and host Villanova defeated Butler 62-50 on Tuesday.

Cam Whitmore had nine points, seven rebounds and four blocked shots for the Wildcats (13-13, 7-8 Big East), who moved back to .500 with their third consecutive victory. Eric Dixon chipped in with nine points and seven rebounds in the balanced effort.

Moore hit two clutch free throws with 2:00 remaining for a 56-47 advantage, and Brandon Slater then sealed the victory with a thunderous dunk with 1:27 left for a 10-point lead, 58-48.

Jayden Taylor led Butler with 20 points while Manny Bates added 12 points and nine rebounds while leaving with an undisclosed injury in the final few minutes.

The Bulldogs (13-14, 5-11) had their two-game winning streak snapped. They committed three costly turnovers in a 65-second span to fall behind 53-45 with 4:50 remaining and the deficit was ultimately too much to overcome.

Butler shot only 5 of 23 on 3-pointers.

In a tightly contested, defensive-oriented first half, Villanova went ahead 22-17 when Whitmore threw down a dunk with 3:14 remaining.

Butler, which shot just 2-for-11 from 3-point territory in the half, pulled ahead 24-23 when Taylor dropped in a trey with 12 seconds left.

But Daniels responded with a layup at the buzzer for the Wildcats, who led 25-24 at halftime.

Taylor was the lone player on either team to reach double figures with 12 points.

Butler took a 31-30 advantage with 15:59 remaining in the second half when Simas Lukosius hit a 3-pointer.

Villanova responded with a 7-0 run over a span of 2:16 to go up 37-31.

Soon after the Bulldogs cut the deficit to two, the Wildcats extended their advantage to 45-38 when Daniels hit a 3-pointer with 8:46 to go.

Taylor then converted a layup with 7:53 left and Butler trailed 45-40.

–Field Level Media

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