Ryan Arcidiacono made seven three-point shots, scored 27 points and showed No. 16 Villanova may again be the team to beat in the Big East, thumping No. 6 Xavier, 95-64, on Thursday in Villanova.
The two-time defending regular-season Big East championships and the 2015 tournament champs raced to a 20-point lead in the first half behind a three-point happy offense and handed the Musketeers (12-1) their first loss of the season in the conference opener for both teams.
Josh Hart scored the first 13 points of the second half for the Wildcats (11-2) and finished with 15.
James Farr led Xavier with 15 points. The Musketeers had a scare when freshman guard Edmond Sumner was taken off the court on a stretcher after a hard fall minutes into the game. Coach Chris Mack said after the game that Sumner was “walking and talking” at a hospital.
Villanova’s only two losses had come against Top 25 teams, falling to No. 3 Oklahoma and now-No. 5 Virginia. The Sooners routed the Wildcats by 23 points and Virginia pulled away late in an 86-75 win.
No. 12 Providence 81, at No. 9 Butler 73: Rodney Bullock scored a career-high 25 points, Kris Dunn came close to a triple-double and the Friars (13-1) won their seventh in a row in the Big East opener for both teams. Dunn had 20 points, seven rebounds and nine assists to help Providence overcome a 36-25 halftime deficit. Kelan Martin had 20 points and Roosevelt Jones had 19 for the Bulldogs (11-2), who had won eight games in a row.