Brunson, Bridges spark No. 1 Villanova past Marquette, 85-82

Jalen Brunson scored 31 and Mikal Bridges did the dirty work down the stretch Sunday in No. 1 Villanova’s 85-82 victory over Marquette.

Despite tweaking his ankle and sitting down for treatment in the second half, Brunson finished the game with 10 of 19 shooting.

“I’m fine,” Brunson told a Fox television reporter later. “A little thing. I’m moving forward.”

Villanova was already hurting coming into the Big East game, playing without guard Phil Booth for the first time since he fractured his right hand last week.

The Wildcats met the challenge with balanced scoring from Brunson, Donte DiVincenzo (23 points) and Bridges (16).

Bridges made a critical play in the final minute.

After Brunson missed a three, he grabbed the offensive rebound, and fed DiVincenzo.

DiVincenzo hit a layup for an 85-80 lead with 19 seconds remaining.

Marquette guard Andrew Rowsey hit five three-pointers and scored 29, but back-court mate Markus Howard was held scoreless after intermission.

Howard, who scored 52 in overtime on Jan. 4 at Providence, finished with 13 points on 5 of 18 shooting.


Villanova 20-1, 7-1

Marquette 13-8, 4-5

No. 1 Villanova loses Phil Booth indefinitely with hand injury

An examination Wednesday revealed that redshirt junior guard Phil Booth suffered a fractured bone in his right (shooting) hand during the second half of top-ranked Villanova’s 89-69 win over Providence on Tuesday night.

According to a news release from Villanova, the injury will sideline Booth – who missed all but three games of the 2016-17 season due to a knee injury – indefinitely.

Booth ranks second in the Big East to teammate Jalen Brunson in assist-to-turnover ratio (64 assists, 26 turnovers, 2.5 ratio) and averages 11.6 points per game.

He has started all 20 games for the Wildcats, averaging 28.3 minutes per outing. He is 40-of-93 from beyond the 3-point arc (.430).

The Wildcats travel to Milwaukee to meet Marquette Sunday at 1 p.m.

Booth emerged in the national spotlight two years ago in Houston when he scored 20 points in 25 minutes off the bench in Villanova’s 77-74, NCAA championship-clinching victory over North Carolina.