College basketball: No. 13 Creighton holds on to hand No. 22 Xavier its first loss

Creighton forward Damien Jefferson drives to the basket against Xavier forward Zach Freemantle.
Creighton forward Damien Jefferson (23) drives to the basket against Xavier forward Zach Freemantle (32) in the second half on Wednesday in Omaha, Neb.
(John Peterson / Associated Press)

Antwann Jones and Denzel Mahoney scored 13 points each to lead No. 13 Creighton to a 66-61 win over 22nd-ranked Xavier on Wednesday, handling the Musketeers their first loss of the season.

The Bluejays (7-2, 3-1 Big East) used an 8-0 run to start the second half to open up a 44-34 lead. before the Musketeers (8-1, 1-1) cut it to 64-61 with 10 seconds left on Paul Scruggs’ 3-pointer. Adam Kunkel then got a steal and had a chance to tie the game, but his 3-pointer with a second left rimmed out.

Neither team shot well in the second half as Xavier was 2-for-16 from behind the arc and Creighton 3-for-13 in the final 20 minutes. The difference was at the free-throw line, where the Bluejays made 11 of 14 down the stretch.


Xavier leading scorer Zach Freemantle was held to seven points on 3-of-9 shooting. He fouled out with 2:38 remaining in the game. Nate Johnson led Xavier with 12 points.

No. 23 Ohio State 80, No. 11 Rutgers 68

Duane Washington Jr. scored 22 points and Ohio State rallied from a 16-point second-half deficit to beat Rutgers.

E.J. Liddell had 21 points and Kyle Young added 17 points and 12 rebounds for Ohio State (7-1, 1-1 Big Ten), which trailed 48-32 with 15 minutes left in the game. The Buckeyes went on a 20-1 run late in the second half to seize control and hand Rutgers (6-1, 2-1) its first loss.

Ron Harper Jr. had 20 points, Montez Mathis scored 16 and Jacob Young added 12 for the Scarlet Knights.

No. 5 Villanova 85, Marquette 68

Collin Gillespie scored 22 points and sank six 3-pointers as No. 5 Villanova routed Marquette for its sixth consecutive victory.

Jeremiah Robinson-Earl and Justin Moore had 13 points each and Caleb Daniels added 10 to help the Wildcats (8-1, 3-0 Big East) overpower Marquette (5-5, 1-3), which lost its third straight. Gillespie shot 6 of 11 from 3-point range.


Marquette was seeking to beat a top-10 team for the third time this season. Jamal Cain scored 15 to lead the Golden Eagles. D.J. Carton and Theo John added 10 points each.

No. 8 Tennessee 80, South Carolina Upstate 60

Victor Bailey scored 18 points and Tennessee struggled before beating winless South Carolina Upstate.

It wasn’t until a 12-2 run midway through the second half that the Volunteers (6-0) finally pulled away, Bailey had four points in that burst. Josiah-Jordan James added 11 points and eight rebounds. John Fulkerson scored 10.

The Spartans (0-8) were led by Tommy Brunner with 18 points. Everette Hammond scored 13 points.

No. 18 Illinois 98, Penn State 81

Ayo Dosunmu scored 21 of his 30 points in the second half to lead Illinois past Penn State.

Kofi Cockburn added 23 points and Andre Curbelo had 15 points and eight assists for the Illini (6-3, 2-1 Big Ten).


Penn State (3-3, 0-2) opened up a 19-4 lead over the first five minutes. The Illini used the remainder of the half to claw back, tying the game at 43 at halftime. Illinois took over midway through the second half.

Myreon Jones and Izaiah Brockington each scored 21 points for Penn State.