PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Ethan Wragge turned Villanova from unbeaten in the Big East to thoroughly beaten in a blur of 3-pointers.
Wragge tied a school record with nine 3s for all 27 points, Doug McDermott hit five 3s and scored 23 points, and Creighton set a team mark with 21 3-pointers in a 96-68 victory over the fourth-ranked Wildcats on Monday night.
“When you let a team that’s a good shooting team get hot,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said, “you’re in trouble.”
The Wildcats played with their highest ranking since they were No. 3 on Feb. 15, 2010. They are not going to stay No. 4 for long.
James Bell scored 19 points for the Wildcats while JayVaughn Pinkston added 11 and Darrun Hilliard had 10.
“We don’t pay attention to any of the rankings,” Hilliard said. “We just focus on each other.”
They should have focused more on defending the 3.
The Bluejays (16-3, 6-1 Big East) topped the school record of 20 3s set in 2005 against Chattanooga. Kyle Korver hit nine 3s against Evansville on Jan. 15, 2003. The Bluejays, in their first year in the Big East, set a conference record for most 3s in a game and beat a top-five team for the first time since 1970.
“Once I get one, they know I’m hunting for two and three,” Wragge said. “It’s a hard feeling to describe once you get one to go in. You just kind of let it fly and don’t think about it.”
The Bluejays hit their first nine 3s and never looked back against Villanova (16-2, 5-1) which had romped its way toward its highest ranking in four years. They made 21 of 35 3-pointers and led by as many 41 points.
Wragge hit eight 3s in the first half and Creighton built a 28-point lead.
“By three or four, I kind of knew where I was at,” he said.
Wragge, who finished 9 of 14 from 3-point range, tied Korver’s record with his ninth 3-pointer with 13:59 left for a 68-45 lead. McDermott followed with his third 3 and Austin Chatman hit one the next time down for the stunning 29-point lead.
“It’s tough to beat a team that hits 21 3s,” McDermott said.
The Bluejays refused to slow down from 3-point range, with McDermott’s fourth 3 extending the lead to 30 and making them 19 for 31.