OMAHA, Neb. (AP) – Marcus Foster scored 28 points, Davion Mintz gave Creighton the lead for good early in overtime, and the Bluejays defeated the highest-ranked opponent in program history with an 89-83 upset of No. 3 Villanova on Saturday.
Creighton (20-9, 9-7 Big East), playing without injured starting forward Ronnie Harrell Jr., ended a three-game conference losing streak and won for the first time in nine games against Villanova since 2014. The Bluejays also avenged a 20-point road loss to Villanova on Feb. 1.
Villanova (25-4, 12-4) squandered an eight-point lead with 4Â½ minutes left and missed seven of its last nine shots before a meaningless layup at the end of overtime.
Mintz scored on his own putback to put the Bluejays ahead 78-76, and Jacob Epperson made it a four-point game with two free throws with 1:45 left in the extra period.
Jalen Brunson lost control of the ball under his basket on the Wildcats’ next possession, and Phil Booth committed a flagrant-1 foul before Mitch Ballock scored for Creighton to make it 84-78.
Khyri Thomas made five straight 3-pointers in the first 11 minutes to set a career high and finished with 24 points. Ballock added 13 and Epperson had all 12 of his points after halftime.
Brunson led the Wildcats with 22 points, Mikal Bridges had 18 and Omari Spellman added 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Ballock’s 3-pointer gave Creighton a 72-71 lead with 30 seconds left in regulation, and Thomas went to the free-throw line with a chance to put the Bluejays up by three.
But he missed the free throw, and Donte DiVincenzo was fouled on the rebound. DiVincenzo made one of two free throws to tie it 72-all, and the game went to overtime when Bridges blocked Foster’s layup try just ahead of the buzzer.
Brunson scored eight straight points for Villanova after Toby Hegner converted an entry pass from Mitch Ballock to make it 60-all.
Brunson hit a fadeaway jumper, an inside shot and a floater. He pulled the ball away from Foster, got fouled and made two free throws for a 68-60 lead with 4 Â½ minutes left.
Villanova: The Wildcats are 3-3 in their last six games and are one game behind Big East-leading Xavier with two regular-season games left.
Creighton: Thomas’ early barrage of 3-pointers created energy the Bluejays lacked in their last three conference games, and Epperson’s big second half and overtime showed they just might be able to overcome the season-ending injury to big man Martin Krampelj.
Villanova visits Seton Hall on Wednesday. The Wildcats won the first meeting 92-76 on Feb. 4.
Creighton hosts DePaul on Tuesday. The Bluejays won the first meeting 76-75 on Feb. 7.
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