Butler ends No. 1 Villanova's 20-game streak

  • Butler ends No. 1 Villanova's 20-game streak

Butler ends No. 1 Villanova's 20-game streak

For the first time in almost a calendar year, the Villanova Wildcats will have to figure out how to bounce back from a loss.

It was another sellout crowd on the road and a ranked opponent Wednesday night for No. 1 Villanova, and the Wildcats were on the ropes down the stretch against No. 18 Butler. But the Bulldogs came out hot in the second half, connecting on four of their first six shots and taking their second lead of the night, 36-35, four minutes into the period.

Villanova and Butler were then tied at seven when the Wildcats went on their 8-0 run to lead, 15-7, with 11 minutes to play. The Bluejays (14-1, 2-1 Big East) lost to No. 1 Villanova on New Year's Eve, ending their 13-game winning streak - the school's longest since 1942-43. Savage came up huge on a night when the 3-point shot was not falling. Guards Haanif Cheatham and Jajuan Johnson both had 19 points in the setback for the Golden Eagles, who shot over 50 percent from the field as a team. Martin added 12 points while Baldwin finished with 10.

"It stings right now", Villanova preseason All-America Josh Hart said after scoring 13 points.

Savage picked up his fifth foul with 1:40 remaining in the game and Villanova had trimmed its deficit to 58-54, so somebody else had to step up and keep Butler's positive mojo going.

Along with Savage, Andrew Chrabascz had 13 points and seven rebounds, while Martin added 12 and Baldwin had 10. His final bucket came on a steal and a layup. "Butler fans are just awesome and this is a great place to play".

Kris Jenkins, the title game hero a year ago, had 11 points. As the Bulldogs scored five straight points to take their first lead of the game, the Butler student section ensued with insults directed at the Villanova bench. Hart finished with 13 points and eight rebounds.

RALEIGH, N.C. - Freshman guard Dennis Smith Jr. had 27 points, 11 assists and 11 rebounds for the second triple-double in program history, and North Carolina State rode a dominant first-half performance to a victory over No. 21 Virginia Tech.

With the help of Avery Woodsen yet again, that sparked a big 11-2 run into the final two minutes to play.

(At) No. 23 Notre Dame 77, No. 9 Louisville 70: Steve Vasturia scored a career-high 24 points to lead Notre Dame. The 6-foot-7 forward played for the first time a loss November 29 at Duke, missing seven games with a sprained ankle. Villanova shot a season-low 37.3 percent from the field and was just six of 26 from beyond the arc.

Villanova head coach Jay Wright also gave credit to the Butler home crowd after the game. The Sycamores (6-9, 0-3) were led by Brenton Scott's 15 points. Butler is 8-0 at home this season but their loss at St. John's showed they are vulnerable to an off night.

After winning 20 straight, Villanova is undefeated no longer. Chrabascz's layup tied the game at 47-47, signaling the beginning of Wildcat defeat. "But in terms of where our program is, where we are among our peers, if we're competing for regular-season championships, competing for Big East tournament championships, I'm good".

Villanova loses for the first time after 20 games, the first time this season. Butler will travel to Georgetown Saturday at noon (FOX, WLYV 1450 AM).