VILLANOVA, Pa. – No. 22 Butler scored 18 straight points down the stretch and stunned No. 2 Villanova 74-66 Wednesday night at the Pavilion.
The loss was the third this year for the defending national champs and the second to Butler. It was also Villanova’s first loss on campus in more than four years.
Villanova led by as many as eight points early in the second half and by seven at 49-42 with 9½ minutes left before Butler scored 18 straight points over a 5½-minute span to take a 60-49 lead with four minutes left.
Villanova went scoreless from 10:35 left in the game to 4:05, a span of 6½ minutes.
Villanova cut the lead from 11 to four in the final minute but Butler made its final eight foul shots to secure its first win ever on the road against the Wildcats.
The loss was the first ever on campus for Villanova’s seniors. Villanova hadn’t lost at the Pavilion since February of 2013.
Sophomore Jalen Brunson shot 9 for 13 after his 7 for 7 against Seton Hall Saturday and finished with 24 points.
The rest of the Wildcats shot a combined 16 for 44.
Josh Hart scored 18 points on 7 for 18 shooting.
Kris Jenkins shot just 1 for 8 and 1 for 5 from three for three points, and Mikal Bridges also had three points on just 1 for 3 from the field.
Butler led 8-0 after 3½ minutes before Villanova outscored the Bulldogs 44-28 over the next 22½ minutes to take their biggest lead, 44-36, with 13 minutes left.
What it means
Butler, which beat Villanova 66-58 on Jan. 4 in Indianapolis, completed a season sweep of Villanova. Butler was 0-7 before this year against the Wildcats.
Villanova fell to 26-3 and 13-3 in the Big East. Butler improved to 22-6 and 11-5, keeping alive its hopes of winning the Big East regular-season title.
One more Villanova win or Butler loss and Creighton loss would deliver the conference title and No. 1 seed in the conference tournament to the Wildcats.
The loss ended Villanova’s record 48-game winning streak at the Pavilion. The Wildcats’ last loss on campus was by a 55-52 score to Providence on Feb. 3, 2013.
Stat of the day
Hart, a 79 percent foul shooter, was 0 for 4 from the foul line and missed two front ends of one-and-ones.
The Wildcats led by six when Kelan Martin and Tyler Lewis made threes 45 seconds apart to tie the game at 49 and start that 18-0 run. Villanova never got the momentum back.
By the numbers
• Martin led Butler with 16 points and Kamar Baldwin added 15 before fouling out.
• Butler shot 7 for 13 from three in the second half and 10 for 25 overall.
• Villanova was just 5 for 19 from three.
• Villanova committed 10 of its 15 turnovers in the first half
• Villanova shot just 10 for 16 from the foul line, with seven of the 10 makes coming in the final 79 seconds
• Butler had 21 assists on 27 baskets, Villanova had eight assists on 23 baskets
• Villanova scored 17 points in the game’s final 4:05
• Senior post Darryl Reynolds, Villanova’s second-leading rebounder at 5.5 per game, sat out a fourth straight game with a rib injury. He’s considered day to day.
On Saturday afternoon, Villanova plays its final game at the Pavilion until November of 2018, facing Creighton at 3 p.m.
Villanova will play most of its home games at the Wells Fargo Center next year.
The Wildcats finish the regular season at Georgetown on March 4 and open play in the Big East Tournament five days later.