Saddiq Bey scored 22 points and Jermaine Samuels added 17 points and eight rebounds as No. 12 Villanova posted a 64-55 victory over host Xavier on Saturday in Cincinnati.
Justin Moore scored 13 points and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl had 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (21-6 overall, 10-4 Big East), who won their fourth in a row.
Tyrique Jones paced Xavier (17-10, 6-8) with 17 points and 14 rebounds for his ninth consecutive double-double and his 19th of the season.
Naji Marshall added 15 points and eight rebounds and Paul Scruggs had 10 points for the Musketeers.
The Musketeers had won four of five Big East games heading into this matchup.
Villanova jumped out to an 18-10 lead with 8:59 remaining in the first half before Xavier tightened up defensively and closed within 25-21.
The Wildcats then finished the half strong by going ahead 30-21. In the last 4:19, Xavier went scoreless and missed all five shots.
Bey led all scorers on both teams with 10 points at halftime.
Bey stayed hot and knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing for a 40-26 advantage at the first television timeout of the second half.
Following the break, Jones threw down his second consecutive dunk and a layup to close the Musketeers within 10.
Another basket by Jones in the paint cut the lead to 40-34 with 12:53 left.
Collin Gillespie dropped in his first basket of the game to put Villanova ahead 44-35 with 10:55 remaining. Gillespie had missed his first six shots before converting the difficult driving layup.
Samuels then made two free throws to go back ahead by 11.
Marshall came back with a layup to close Xavier within 46-37 with 8:54 to go. Marshall was also fouled but missed the shot.
When Samuels hit a trey from the top of the key, the Wildcats led 53-39 with 6:51 left.
Leading 55-41, Bey was fouled going to the basket and knocked down both for a 16-point advantage with 4:22 remaining.
Xavier scored six straight to cut the lead to 10 before Bey came back with a trey and a 13-point Villanova lead.
--Field Level Media