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Villanova edges Xavier for fourth straight win


Hakim Hart scored 14 points, Eric Dixon added 13 points and nine rebounds and host Villanova defeated Xavier 66-65 on Wednesday.

Brendan Hausen had 12 points for the Wildcats (10-4, 3-0 Big East), who won their fourth in a row.

Villanova played once again without guard Justin Moore, who has a sprained right knee.

Dixon hit 4-of-6 free throws in the final 1:45 but missed two with 4.3 seconds left to give Xavier a chance to win. But Desmond Claude missed a short jump shot at the buzzer.

Quincy Olivari led Xavier (7-7, 1-2) with 14 points, Dayvion McKnight added 12 points while Claude and Abou Ousmane had 11 each.

McKnight’s layup cut the deficit to 66-65 with 5.3 seconds left.

Jordan Longino converted a four-point play with 6:07 remaining in the second half for a 62-54 Villanova lead.

Ousmane scored in the paint and Gytis Nemeiksa tapped in his missed shot with 4:11 left to close Xavier within 62-58. Claude soon finished a three-point play and the Xavier deficit was 62-61 with 2:05 to go.

Hart drove to the basket and scored for a 21-17 Villanova lead with 9:33 left in the first half.

Hausen then knocked down a 3-pointer with 8:29 remaining to cap a 9-0 run for a 24-17 advantage.

Sasa Ciani scored in the lane for Xavier on its next possession.

Hart posted up and connected off the glass with 4:49 left for a 29-21 lead.

Trey Green came back with a deep 3-pointer for the Musketeers with 4:01 to go as they trailed by five, 29-24.

Hart scored five points in the final minute to propel the Wildcats to a 34-29 lead at halftime. Hart and Hausen scored nine points apiece.

Xavier shot just 11-of-36 — 30.6 percent — in the first half.

Villanova extended its advantage to 48-38 with 15:22 left in the second half after Hausen hit another 3-pointer.

Olivari responded with a trey with 14:37 remaining to close Xavier within 48-41.

The Wildcats led 54-45 after Hart dropped in a 3-pointer with 10:12 left.

The Musketeers then went on a quick 5-0 run to cut the deficit to four, 54-50.

–Field Level Media

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