Villanova Falls Flat at Creighton, 66-61


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Eric Dixon finished with 20 points in the matchup in Omaha.

Owen Hewitt, Co-Sports Editor

Redshirt junior forward Eric Dixon finished with 20 points for Villanova, but when his number was called to hit the game-tying three-pointer with three seconds left, he was unable to convert. The ‘Cats dropped their third in a row to Creighton in Omaha Saturday night 66-61. The loss drops Villanova to 10-13 overall and 4-8 in Big East play. 

“It was a tough loss for us on the road against a really good team,” Villanova head coach Kyle Neptune said. “I give them a lot of credit. I thought we were really resilient, took some good shots, but they made the plays at the end.” 

The ‘Cats again went cold on offense late in the game, with no field goals made over a five-minute stretch within the last six minutes of the second half. Dixon was the only player to make a shot from the field in the final five minutes for the ‘Cats. He made a three to give the ‘Cats the lead with 34.3 to go, but the Bluejays would score the next five points to seal the game.  

Senior guard Justin Moore finished the game with 13 and graduate guard Caleb Daniels finished with 12. Both teams were without any points contributed from the bench units.  

Villanova struggled to find an offensive rhythm in the first half against a staunch Bluejays defense, shooting just 3-13 from three and 9-23 from the field. Daniels led the team in the first half with eight points. Bluejays junior center Ryan Kalkbrenner and sophomore guard Trey Alexander both had 12 points at the break.  

Kalkbrenner would finish with 16 with four fouls, while Alexander scored 15 more to tally 27 at the final buzzer. 

Even with the poor shooting from the ‘Cats, they managed to limit the Bluejays lead to eight at 35-27 at the end of the first 20 minutes. 

The ‘Cats utilized a 15-3 run in the second half to reclaim the lead 51-49. Seven of the run’s 15 points came from Dixon. The ‘Cats were able to get to the free throw line during that period midway through the second half, as seven points during the run came from the charity stripe.  

It would be the Bluejays who would benefit from the foul line at the end however, as they went 6-6 from the line in the final 30 seconds to seal it.  

The ‘Cats had two chances to go-ahead or tie the ballgame in the final 30, the first resulting in a Daniels turnover with 14 seconds to play. The second was the look for Dixon, who came around a screen and fired, but his shot was off. 

Villanova returns to action on Wednesday, when it faces DePaul at the Finneran Pavilion. Tip is set for 8:30 with the game being televised on Fox Sports 1.