No. 14 Villanova 70, No. 11 Rutgers 49
Records: Villanova (13-18); Rutgers (14-18)
Villanova advances to face USF in the second round of the BIG EAST Championship Wednesday. The Wildcats dropped both meetings to the Bulls this season (74-57 in Villanova, Pa., and 65-51 in Tampa, Fla.).
Villanova and USF have met once previously in the BIG EAST Championship. USF was a 70-69 winner in last year’s first round.
Maalik Wayns finished with 28 points for Villanova, turning in his second consecutive 20-point game in the BIG EAST Championship. Wayns scored 24 points in last year’s loss to USF.
Villanova snapped a three-game losing streak in BIG EAST tournament play. The Wildcats improved to 10-3 all-time in the first round of the tournament.
Villanova played its first game as the tournament’s No. 14 seed.
Villanova held Rutgers to 29.1-percent shooting. It was Villanova’s best field goal defense in a BIG EAST tournament game.
The win was the first by a No. 14 seed against the No. 11 seed in the BIG EAST Championship first round. No. 11 seeds had been 3-0.
Rutgers scored 14 points in the second half, matching the second-fewest by a team in BIG EAST tournament history. Georgetown scored 14 points in the second half of a 58-40 loss to Seton Hall in the 2001 tournament. The tournament record for fewest points in a half is 10 by St. John’s against Marquette in a 74-45 loss in 2009.
Rutgers’ Eli Carter accounted for 47 percent of the Scarlet Knights’ scoring (23 of the team’ 49 points).