NEW YORK — Jalen Brunson and Josh Hart each scored 13 points to lead No. 8 Villanova to a 69-52 win over Georgia Tech on Friday in the NIT Season Tip Off championship game.
Kris Jenkins had 12 points and the Big East Co-Player of the Year Ryan Arcidiacono added nine as Villanova improved to 6-0 this season.
Georgia Tech has lost two of three, and fell to 4-2. Charles Mitchell led the Yellow Jackets with 16 points and 11 rebounds.
The only time the Wildcats trailed came after Marcus Georges-Hunt’s layup 3:36 into the game. The basket gave Georgia Tech a 7-6 lead.
Villanova led 30-23 at halftime, and built the lead to 19 points in the second half following Brunson’s free throw with 6:43 left. The lead never fell below 13 after that.
Villanova fans at Barclays Center began to celebrate the championship after Jenkins and Hart hit back-to-back 3s from the right side a minute apart to give the Wildcats a 64-45 lead with 3:36 remaining.
Brunson and Hart were named to the NIT Season Tip Off All-Tournament team, along with Mitchell, Arkansas’ Anthlon Bell and Stanford’s Rosco Allen. Brunson was also named the Tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Villanova: The Wildcats were the highest ranked non-conference opponent Georgia Tech had played since it faced Ohio State in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Mar. 21, 2010. The Buckeyes were ranked No. 5 in the AP poll coming into that game, which they won 75-66.
Georgia Tech: Friday’s game marked the Yellow Jackets’ third game at Barclays Center. Georgia Tech participated in the 2013 Barclays Center Classic where they lost to Mississippi and St. John’s.
Villanova: visits St. Joseph’s in a Big 5 rivalry game on Dec. 1.
Georgia Tech: hosts Wofford on Dec. 1.