The Saint Louis Billikens bested the Villanova Wildcats 80-68 in the semifinals of the 76 Classic college basketball tournament at the Anaheim Convention Center on Friday. St. Louis will play the winner of Santa Clara vs. Oklahoma in the tournament final on Sunday night at 6 p.m., to be televised by ESPN2.
St. Louis (5-0) led 38-34 at halftime, and had their lead cut to one by a James Bell three-pointer in the opening minute of the second half. But Rick Majerus's squad went on a 20-7 run over the next seven minutes to built a 14-point advantage. Villanova made several mini-runs but were never able to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Jordair Jett led St. Louis with a career-best 19 points on 7-of-8 shooting. Cody Ellis added 14 points for the Billikens, combining with Jett for 33 points off the bench. St. Louis shot 50% from the field and made a 76 Classic Tournament record 14 three-pointers.
Maalik Wayns led Villanova (4-1) with a career-high 29 points, his fourth straight game with at least 20 points. Bell added 16 points for the Wildcats. Villanova will play the loser of Santa Clara vs. Oklahoma in the third place game Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.