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Jan 26, 2024 2:11 pm

Butler, Villanova both looking to make a move in Big East

Two teams trying to fight their way up the Big East standings face off on Saturday in Indianapolis as Butler plays host to Villanova.

Butler (13-7, 4-5 Big East) took down Georgetown 90-66 on Tuesday night in Washington, D.C.

Pierre Brooks II led the way with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double. DJ Davis and Jahmyl Telfort each dropped 17 points and Jalen Thomas added 11 with five boards.

“We found some rhythm on offense and that really ignited our defense,” Butler coach Thad Matta said.

Villanova (11-8, 4-4) fell 70-50 to St. John’s on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden. It marked the first time in 31 years that the Red Storm swept the two-game series against the Wildcats.

Villanova was led by Eric Dixon with 16 points and eight boards while TJ Bamba added 12 points. No other Wildcats player scored in double-figures.

“They threw the first punch, set the tone and we just never recovered,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said. “I thought they played harder than us and they came out and executed perfectly.”

Dixon leads the Wildcats with 15.0 points per game this season. Tyler Burton leads with 7.2 rebounds per game while Justin Moore leads the team with just 2.0 assists per game.

Butler is led by Brooks with 16.8 points per game. Posh Alexander leads with 5.2 assists and 2.4 steals per game while Thomas leads down low, averaging 6.9 boards and 1.4 blocks.

On the injury front, Villanova’s Nnanna Njoku has missed the last four games and is questionable with a knee injury. Butler’s Connor Turnbull (elbow) is out indefinitely.

Villanova has a 16-6 lead in the all-time series. They split last season’s meetings, with each team winning at home. Villanova won the most recent matchup 62-50.

–Field Level Media

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