Mikal Bridges had his coming-out performance as one of top players in the nation, scoring a career-high 28 points to lead No. 4 Villanova to an 88-72 victory over No. 12 Gonzaga in the Jimmy V Classic at New York’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Bridges, a 6-foot-7 junior guard, had shown Villanova (9-0) what he could do this season with three games of 20-plus points that already signaled he might be the best player on the Big East champions.
Against an NCAA title game finalist and in prime time on basketball’s biggest stage, Bridges flashed the type of all-around talent that should make him an NBA first-round draft pick.
His defining moment came in the second half: Bridges slashed the lane and unleashed a monster right-hand dunk over 6-11 center Jacob Larsen. Gonzaga’s Josh Perkins tried the same move on the next possession, only to have Bridges swat the ball out of bounds with a block that had the Villanova fans roaring.
Bridges made five three-pointers in the first meeting between two programs that have ranked among the best for the last 15 years. Villanova won the 2016 national championship and Gonzaga (7-2) lost the 2017 title game to North Carolina.
No. 3 Michigan State 62, at Rutgers 52: Miles Bridges scored 21 points and the Spartans overcame their worst offensive performance of the season. Jaren Jackson Jr. had eight of the Spartans’ season-high 13 blocks in helping Michigan State (8-1) post its seventh consecutive victory. Rutgers (6-3) made Michigan State work for this one, holding the Spartans to season lows in points and shooting percentage (38.6).
Arizona 67, No. 7 Texas A&M 64: Deandre Ayton had 13 points and 10 rebounds, and the Wildcats (6-3) hung on at Phoenix for their first signature victory of the season. Robert Williams missed a long three-point try at the buzzer as the Aggies (7-1) suffered their first defeat. Tyler Davis led A&M with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
Ball State 80, at No. 9 Notre Dame 77: Tayler Persons made a three-pointer from the left wing with 1.7 seconds remaining as the Cardinals (5-4) knocked off a ranked opponent for the first time since downing No. 4 UCLA more than 16 years ago. The Irish (7-2) lost a nonconference home game for the first time since falling to North Dakota State four years ago.
at UC Santa Barbara 77, Omaha 70: Max Heidegger scored 25 points, Leland King II had 22 points and 13 rebounds, and the Gauchos (7-2) won their sixth game in a row, their best start since opening the 2007-08 season 10-1. Jalen Canty had 14 points and 11 rebounds, and Marcus Jackson had 11 assists for the Gauchos. Zach Jackson had 17 points for Omaha (1-9).
at Pepperdine 70, UC Riverside 59: Nolan Taylor scored 17 points for the Waves (3-6), who lost top scorer Kameron Edwards after halftime because of an unspecified injury. Chance Murray had 15 points for the Highlanders (2-6).
Long Beach State at Southern Utah 5:30 p.m.
UC Irvine at Utah State 6 p.m.
Cal State Northridge at Idaho State 6 p.m.
Portland State at Loyola Marymount 7 p.m.