CINCINNATI -- Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points and No. 6 Villanova clinched the outright Big East championship for the first time in 32 years by holding off undermanned Xavier 77-70 on Thursday night.
JayVaughn Pinkston added 15 points -- eight in the last 3:20 -- James Bell finished with 12 and Ryan Arcidiacono chipped in with 11 as the Wildcats (27-3, 15-2 Big East) extended their school record for regular-season wins with their fifth straight and 11th in their last 12 games.
The Wildcats went into the night with a 1 1-2 game lead over No. 13 Creighton in the Big East and two games remaining. The Bluejays have one game to play.
Villanova, which last won the title alone in 1981-82, is scheduled to wrap up its regular season Saturday at home against Georgetown.