OMAHA, Neb. (AP) Eric Dixon made the go-ahead 3-pointer with 28 seconds left in overtime to finish his 32-point night and Villanova held off No. 12 Creighton 68-66 on Wednesday in the Big East opener for both teams.

“It was a great team win,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said. “We had some good spurts in the first half but couldn't make some shots, and we went through some droughts in the second half. Our guys, to their credit, kept getting stops. I thought that was a key in our victory”

The Bluejays (9-3) led by double digits until midway through the second half before Villanova (8-4) rallied to tie it and force overtime.

Alexander made two free throws to put Creighton up 66-65 with 42 seconds left. After a timeout, Villanova set up a play to have Dixon work around a screen and take a pass from Jordan Longino. Dixon got the ball in the corner and hit his 3 as Ryan Kalkbrenner closed in on defense.

“We've gotten a lot of offense out of that play,” Dixon said, “and they had trust in me."

Baylor Scheierman had a chance to tie it with seven seconds left but missed the front end of a one-and-one, and he missed a long 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Trey Alexander scored all eight of Creighton's points in overtime and finished with 16 points and a career-high 15 rebounds. Scheierman also had 16 points and Kalkbrenner added 14.

“This is a game I felt we should have controlled a little better,” Alexander said. “We were up double digits at half. We have to do a better job of not turning the ball over, making sure we capitalize on situations we get offensive rebounds and play the way we know how.”

Creighton led by 14 early in the second half before hitting a cold spell. The Wildcats chipped away to tie it at 56 with under four minutes left when a defensive breakdown allowed Jordan Longino to go in for an uncontested layup.

It was 58-all when Alexander came away with a hard-earned rebound with 32 seconds left. Coming out of a timeout, Alexander held the ball late into the shot clock before passing to Scheierman, who missed a desperation turnaround shot from the wing. Creighton kept possession after the ball went out of bounds, but Alexander's shot in the lane ahead of the buzzer wasn't close, forcing overtime.

“I knew I had a shot to win it, but it kind of slipped out of my hands when I was gathering it, so I wasn't able to get the shot I wanted,” Alexander said.

The Wildcats were without Justin Moore for a second straight game. Moore has been out since spraining his right knee in the first half against Kansas State on Dec. 5.


Doug McDermott's No. 3 jersey was hung from the rafters during a pregame ceremony. He ended his Creighton career in 2014 as national player of the year, a three-time Associated Press first-team All-American and, at the time, the No. 5 career Division I scorer.

McDermott, now with the San Antonio Spurs, thanked his family and the fans after the jersey unveiling.

“Thanks for drawing up all those plays for me, big guy,” he said to his father, coach Greg McDermott. Turning to his old teammates lined up on the court, he said, “And thanks for letting me shoot all the shots, guys.”


Villanova: The Wildcats survived but continue to struggle with poor starts. They shot 28% in the first half, marking the fourth straight game they've failed to shoot 30% or score more than 25 points in the opening 20 minutes. They're 2-2 in those games.

Creighton: The Bluejays need more production from their bench. Isaac Traudt had three points and Francisco Farabello had two. It was a problem that plagued the Bluejays at times last season, and it's a concern as they begin Big East play.


Villanova: At DePaul on Saturday.

Creighton: At Marquette on Dec. 30.

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