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'Nova clinches Big East

Darrun Hilliard, who leads Villanova with 19 points, drives past Xavier’s Dee Davis and Justin Martin during the second half.

Associated Press

Darrun Hilliard, who leads Villanova with 19 points, drives past Xavier’s Dee Davis and Justin Martin during the second half.

CINCINNATI — Darrun Hilliard scored 19 and No. 6 Villanova clinched the outright Big East championship for the first time in 32 years, holding off Xavier 77-70 Thursday night.

JayVaughn Pinkston added 15 points — eight in the last 3:20 — as the Wildcats (27-3, 15-2 Big East) extended their school record for regular-season wins.

Villanova, which last won the title alone in 1981-82, wraps up its regular season Saturday at home against Georgetown.

Justin Martin had 20 points for Xavier, which for the second straight game drew a standing-room-only crowd — 10,340 in the 10,250-seat Cintas Center.

No. 15 Cincinnati 97, No. 20 Memphis 84: Sean Kilpatrick scored a season-high 34 in his final home game for the Bearcats (25-5, 14-3 American Athletic). Cincinnati remained tied atop the conference with No. 11 Louisville. The Cardinals finish at home against No. 19 Connecticut. The Bearcats close at Rutgers. Memphis (22-8, 11-6) struggled from the start.

No. 22 Mich. St. 86, No. 24 Iowa 76: Keith Appling, who has been slowed by hip and wrist injuries, scored 12, reaching double figures for the first time in more than five weeks for the host Spartans (23-7, 12-5 Big Ten). Roy Devyn Marble scored 24 for the Hawkeyes (20-10, 9-8).

Fgcu one win from return: Chase Fieler had 22 points and 15 rebounds as top-seeded Florida Gulf Coast beat East Tennessee 69-64 in the semifinal round of the Atlantic Sun tournament in Fort Myers. The Eagles (22-11) will make a second straight trip to the NCAA Tournament with a victory in Sunday's final.

SSC tournament: Eric Moraes had 15 points and 10 rebounds and third-seeded Tampa (19-8) beat No. 8 Florida Tech 64-58 in Kissimmee. No. 2 Saint Leo beat No. 9 Lynn 63-53. Tampa and Saint Leo (23-7) meet in the Sunshine State Conference semi­finals at 5 Saturday. Today, No. 7 Eckerd faces No. 6 Nova Southeastern at 5.

Coach k improves: Coach Mike Krzyzewski was out of the hospital and at practice with No. 4 Duke after feeling light-headed during Wednesday's loss at Wake Forest.

Suspensions: South Carolina suspended coach Frank Martin for one game for cursing at his players during Tuesday's home loss to Florida. He will miss Saturday's game at Mississippi State. … UNLV leading scorer Bryce Dejean-Jones will sit Saturday at Nevada, suspended for conduct detrimental to the team.

new hampshire firing: Longtime director of basketball operations Scott Weitzell, 50, was fired after school officials said he secretly took pictures of male athletes in a locker room. On Feb. 21 he was charged with resisting arrest and falsifying evidence after police said he tried to destroy the cellphone he used to take the pictures.

Women

Fsu 72, Miami 67, OT: Natasha Howard had 30 points and 16 rebounds as the ninth-seeded Seminoles (20-10) beat the eighth-seeded Hurricanes (16-14) in the second round of the ACC tournament in Greensboro, N.C. Cheetah Delgado, who played at Hillsborough Community College, scored a career-high 20, making a key 3-pointer late in overtime. FSU faces top-seeded Notre Dame at 2:20 today (Sun Sports).

No. 13 UNC 69, Wake 65: Freshman Diamond DeShields scored 17 and hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 1:44 left as the sixth-seeded Tar Heels (23-8) won at the ACC tournament.

Florida 71, Miss. State 67: Jaterra Bonds scored 18, Kayla Lewis added 17 and the fifth-seeded Gators (19-11) won in the second round of the SEC tournament in Duluth, Ga. Florida plays No. 4 seed Kentucky at 2:30 today (Fox Sports Florida).

ssc tournament: Eighth-seeded Eckerd (11-16) lost 75-68 to No. 3 Nova Southeastern in Kissimmee. Tonight, No. 4 Saint Leo faces No. 6 Florida Tech at 7:30.

No. 23 Iowa 81, Illinois 62: Bethany Doolittle scored a career-high 26 as the fifth-seeded Hawkeyes (24-7) won in the first round of the Big Ten tournament in Indianapolis.

big 12 award: Baylor guard Odyssey Sims, the nation's leading scorer at 29.6, was named conference player of the year by the league's coaches.

'Nova clinches Big East 03/06/14 [Last modified: Friday, March 7, 2014 12:22am]

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