Arcidiacono powers No. 6 Villanova past Providence

Providence, RI ( - Ryan Arcidiacono led the way with 20 points and four assists as No. 6 Villanova defeated Providence 74-68 on Wednesday.

Daniel Ochefu scored 19 points on a perfect 7-for-7 shooting clip and pulled down nine rebounds and Darrun Hilliard netted 16 points for the Wildcats (22-2, 9-2 Big East), who won their fifth straight game.

"That's a great win for us in one of the toughest places to play in the country," Villanova head coach Jay Wright said. "I was very pleased with our defense."

LaDontae Henton provided a game-high 23 points and Kris Dunn and Tyler Harris each scored 17 for the Friars (17-8, 7-5).

Providence head coach Ed Cooley returned to the bench for the game after leaving Saturday's loss to Xavier and spending time in the hospital with an unspecified condition.

Hilliard hit a jumper and Arcidiacono hit a 3-pointer to start the second half, giving Villanova a 34-26 advantage.

Providence cut the deficit down to three points, but the Wildcats went on an 11-0 run, with Ochefu supplying five points and Josh Hart hitting two triples during the spurt for a 48-34 lead with 8:16 to play.

Henton scored six quick points and Dunn's dunk made it a 48-42 game with 6:51 remaining, but Arcidiacono made five in a string of six Villanova free throws to make it a 12-point game.

Jalen Lindsey made a left-wing triple to cut Providence's deficit to six points with 2:05 to go, but the Wildcats made enough free throws down the stretch to keep the Friars at bay.

Arcidiacono buried two 3s around Ochefu's tip-in for a 27-21 lead with 3:28 left in the first half. Harris, however, knocked down a trey for the Friars with 39 seconds left to make it a 29-26 game at the break.

Game Notes

The Wildcats shot 50 percent from the field, while the Friars shot 43.1 percent ... Villanova made 27-of-37 free throw attempts ... The Wildcats now lead the all-time series 55-37.