Villanova clinches the title but loses a leader. The Creighton Blue Jays (17-8) came into the Finneran Pavilion to battle the Villanova Wild Cats (17-4) with the Big East Title at stake.
Villanova survived a frantic Creighton comeback. They pulled out a 72-60 victory that gives Nova its seventh title in eight years. As was not sunshine and rainbows as team leader, Collin Gillespie went down with an ugly left knee injury.
“No one has had as much impact on a team in a year as Colin does here,” said Head Coach, Jay Wright. “He’s our spiritual leader, the work ethic he’s our leader. He’s tough to replace. We’re going to have to grow up real quick and guys are going to have to step up and I think they will.”
With the title secured, ‘Nova can afford to sit Gillespie out for its game against Providence. A huge first half that had the ‘Cats in front, 42-23 made the difference. The Blue Jays were able to unfurl a 19-2 second-half rally that made it a five-point contest.
Justin Moore accounted for 24 points with a double-double coming from Jeremiah Robinson-Earl with his 14 points, 14 rebound performance. Mitch Ballock led Creighton with 14 points and was helped by Damien Jefferson who was good for 13. Villanova clinches the title but loses a leader.