Led by guard Ryan Arcidiacono's 27 points and a stellar effort from beyond the arc, No. 16 Villanova easily won its Big East conference opener over previously undefeated, No. 6 Xavier 95-64 in Villanova, Pa., on Thursday.
There was also a scary moment in the game. Xavier freshman guard Edmond Sumner was removed from the court on a stretcher and taken to a local hospital after a collision with Villanova players.
ESPN reported that Sumner was talking as he was taken to the hospital.
Villanova controlled the game from the start. A three-pointer by Arcidiacono four minutes into the game started a barrage of triples by Villanova (11-2, 1-0 Big East), which hit six in a six-minute span to open up a 31-15 lead. The Wildcats hit eight three-pointers in a first half that ended with Villanova holding a 48-30 lead.
Junior wing Josh Hart took over from there, scoring Villanova's first 13 points of the second half to push the lead to 27 points, and Xavier (12-1, 0-1) was never able to make a serious run over the closing 20 minutes.
Villanova made 13 of its 25 shots from beyond the three-point line.
No. 12 Providence 81, No. 9 Butler 73
INDIANAPOLIS -- Forward Rodney Bullock scored 25 points, guard Kris Dunn had 20 and forward Ben Bentil added 19 as No. 12 Providence rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit to defeat No. 9 Butler in a Big East opener.
The Friars (13-1, 1-0) outscored the Bulldogs (11-2, 0-1) 56-37 during the final 20 minutes.
Dunn had nine assists, seven rebounds and two steals to go along with his 19 points.
Forward Kelan Martin scored 20 points to lead Butler, which had won eight in a row, and guard Roosevelt Jones added 19.
A Bentil basket with 1:23 to go gave the Friars a 76-71 lead, and Butler never got closer than that.