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Hilliard scores 24 to lead No. 4 Villanova over Creighton

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) — Darrun Hilliard scored a season-high 24 points to lead No. 4 Villanova to a 71-50 victory over Creighton on Sunday night.

Ryan Arcidiacono added 10 points for the Wildcats (18-2, 5-2 Big East), which rebounded from one of its worst performances of the season — Monday’s 78-58 defeat at Georgetown. In that loss, the Wildcats had a season-low eight assists and were one off a season high with 18 turnovers. They had 15 assists and just five turnovers against Creighton.

James Milliken had 13 points for the Bluejays (9-12, 0-8), who lost their ninth straight game. Creighton’s last win came Dec. 19 at home versus Texas-Pan American.

The victory was a bit of redemption for Villanova.

Creighton handed the Wildcats their only two league losses last season, winning a pair of blowouts by a combined 49 points. The Bluejays set a Big East and school record by making 21 3-pointers in a 96-68 victory last January in Philadelphia. They also routed Villanova 101-80 in Omaha last season.

Of course, that Creighton team had last season’s player of the year Doug McDermott, along with three other starters. None were with Creighton Sunday night.

The Bluejays were 4-for-21 (19 percent) from the arc this time, committed 19 turnovers and lacked the firepower to stay with Villanova.

Villanova, meanwhile, was 12 for 26 (46.2 percent) from 3-point range after struggling from the distance the last two games, going 13 for 41 (31.7) from long range.

Villanova, which led by 15 at intermission, maintained a double-digit advantage throughout the second half.

The Wildcats went ahead 64-42 on Dylan Ennis’ 3-pointer with 6:02 remaining and took their biggest lead on Hilliard’s 3 with 4:04 left that made it 67-43.

Hilliard finished 9 for 15 from the field, including 6 for 10 from behind the arc.

Villanova scored the first 15 points of the game, capped by JayVaughn Pinkston’s free throw 6:51 in. The Bluejays got as close as eight before Villanova scored 10 straight points gave the hosts a 29-11 advantage after Hilliard’s 3-pointer with 40 seconds left before intermission. Austin Chatman’s 3 from the right corner just before the buzzer made it 29-14 at the break.

The Bluejays had twice as many turnovers (12) than field goals (6) in the opening 20 minutes.

TIP-INS

Creighton: Coach Greg McDermott and his staff wore pink sneakers in support of Coaches vs. Cancer.

Villanova: The Wildcats improved to 9-0 this season at their on-campus home court while winning their 24th straight at the Pavilion, where they are 267-61 (.814) all-time.

UP NEXT

Villanova: plays at DePaul on Saturday.

Creighton: hosts St. John’s on Wednesday.

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