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Sports >  NCAA basketball

Top 25 roundup: No. 10 Villanova tops Xavier in Big East opener

Villanova’s Justin Moore, top, and Xavier’s Zach Freemantle pursue a loose ball during first-half action on Monday night in Villanova, Pennsylvania. (Laurence Kesterson / AP)
Villanova’s Justin Moore, top, and Xavier’s Zach Freemantle pursue a loose ball during first-half action on Monday night in Villanova, Pennsylvania. (Laurence Kesterson / AP)
Associated Press

Collin Gillespie scored 16 of his game-high 24 points in the second half to lead No. 10 Villanova to a 68-62 victory over Xavier on Monday night in Villanova, Pennsylvania, in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.

Jermaine Samuels added 14 points for Villanova (10-2), which has won six in a row.

Naji Marshall had 19 points to pace Xavier (9-3).

Villanova has dominated the Big East since the conference realignment in 2013. The Wildcats have won five of the six regular-season conference titles and four of six tournament titles, including the last three. Villanova won a pair of national titles, in 2016 and 2018, during that stretch.

Xavier was just outside of the Top 25 this week, receiving 58 votes.

The Wildcats hadn’t played since a 56-55 victory over then-No. 1 Kansas on Dec. 21.

(6) Baylor 83, Jackson State 57: In Waco, Texas, Jared Butler scored 18 points, Freddie Gillespie had another double-double and Baylor won its ninth straight game before the start of Big 12 play.

The Bears (10-1) missed their first six shots and didn’t score until MaCio Teague had a three-point play after both teams went scoreless for nearly the first four minutes.

After Jackson State (3-10) took its only lead at 8-7 on a 3-pointer by Miles Daniels, Baylor went on a game-deciding 32-6 run in less than seven minutes. The Bears made 11 of 13 field goals in the run and six players scored at least four points.

Teague finished with 16 points and Davion Mitchell had 10 for the Bears. Gillespie had 10 points and 13 rebounds for his fifth double-double this season.

Roland Griffin had 16 points to lead Jackson State. Tristan Jarrett finished 4-of-17 shooting and scored all 12 of his points after halftime.

(9) Memphis 84, Tulane 77: In Memphis, Tennessee, Lester Quinones scored 16 points, Damion Baugh finished with 15 and Memphis weathered a second-half rally in the teams’ American Athletic Conference opener.

Precious Achiuwa finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds as Memphis (12-1) won its 10th straight.

K.J. Lawson, who played two seasons at Memphis, led Tulane with 22 points. Christion Thompson added 17. Jordan Walker finished with 13, including nine straight points as Tulane (8-5) tried to rally down the stretch.

(20) Dayton 77, North Florida 59: In Dayton, Ohio, Obi Toppin scored a career-high 31 points as Dayton used its front-line advantage and pulled away from North Florida.

The Flyers (11-2) took advantage of their height mismatch and used their quickness to force 21 turnovers that set up easy baskets. Dayton scored 52 of its points in the paint.

Toppin led the way, going 15 of 24 from the field. He also had a team-high eight rebounds. Rodney Chatman had nine assists.

Point guard Jalen Crutcher returned after missing one game with a concussion and had 11 points with a pair of assists.

North Florida (7-8) leads the nation in 3-pointers made but couldn’t make enough to keep it close. The Ospreys went 12 of 28 from beyond the arc. Carter Hendricksen led with 12 points.

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