VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) -Corey Stokes hit two 3-pointers during the decisive run and scored all 11 of his points in the second half, helping No. 2 Villanova hold off a serious scare from Seton Hall in an 81-71 victory Tuesday night.
Stokes was a non-factor for the Wildcats (20-1, 9-0 Big East) until he broke a tie with a 3. He quickly followed with another 3-pointer for a long-range start to an 11-0 run that helped put the game away and extended Villanova's winning streak to 11 straight games.
Jeremy Hazell scored 32 points on 12-of-23 shooting for the Pirates (12-8, 3-6), who were outrebounded 50-31.
Seton Hall beat then-No. 9 Pittsburgh 64-61 on Jan. 24, but the Pirates failed to build on that marquee win, losing by two points in overtime at South Florida.
The Pirates erased a halftime deficit and took a 58-56 lead. The Pirates made 6 of 21 shots the rest of the way.
Seton Hall is 0-28 against teams ranked Nos. 1-3 The Associated Press poll.
No. 3 Syracuse 85, Providence 68
r-high 23 points and Arinze Onuaku added a season-high 20 for Syracuse.
The Orange (22-1, 9-1 Big East) have won nine straight and are off to the best start in school history. They were 21-1 in 1979-80, but had never won 22 of their first 23 games to begin a season.
It was the second game of an eight-game span in which the Friars (12-10, 4-6) will face six ranked teams. They beat then-No. 19 Connecticut 81-66 last week to knock the Huskies out of the national rankings.
Syracuse broke open a three-point game with a 22-7 spurt to start the second half. Onuaku started it with a resounding two-hand dunk and his tip-in gave the Orange a 44-34 lead with 18:35 to play.
Jamine Peterson led Providence with 25 points.
No. 4 Kentucky 85, No. 25 Mississippi 75
LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) - Freshman John Wall shook off a recent slump with 17 points and seven assists to lead Kentucky.
DeMarcus Cousins added 18 points and 13 rebounds for the Wildcats (21-1, 6-1 Southeastern Conference), who built an early double-digit lead then held off a couple of second-half rallies by the Rebels.
Terrico White led Mississippi (16-6, 4-4) with 19 points and Chris Warren added 15 but Mississippi missed freshman big man Reginald Buckner, who sat out his second straight game with a sprained ankle.
Kentucky shot 50 percent from the field and outscored the Rebels 44-30 in the paint.
Darnell Dodson hit two 3-pointers early in the second half to help Kentucky extend the lead to 58-41, but Mississippi pulled within 60-57 on a basket by White with 13:55 to play. Cousins, collecting his fifth straight double-double, started Kentucky's game-clinching 11-2 run with a putback. Patrick Patterson, who had 12 points, nailed a 3-pointer then added a three-point play as the Wildcats went back in front 71-59.
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