The No. 1-ranked Bentley University women’s basketball team improved to 28-0 after conference player of the year Lauren Battista scored a game-high 23 points to help the Falcons rout Assumption, 75-59, in Waltham to advance to the Northeast-10 championship game Sunday in Division 2 action.
Bentley will be seeking its fourth straight conference title when it hosts Adelphi University, which got 36 points from point guard Sade Jackson to defeat Stonehill, 93-77, in Garden City, N.J., in the other semifinal.
In the teams’ only matchup this season, the Falcons defeated the Panthers in Waltham, 77-66, Jan. 15.
Iowa 81, Illinois 62 — Bethany Doolittle scored a career-high 26 points, hitting 10 of 14 shots, as the fifth-seeded and 23d-ranked Hawkeyes defeated the Illini in the first round of the Big Ten women’s tournament in Indianapolis.
Melissa Dixon added 15 points and Ally Disterhoft had 14 with 12 rebounds for the Hawkeyes (24-7), who face No. 17 Purdue (21-7), the fourth seed, in the quarterfinals Friday.
Holy Cross 79, Bucknell 66 — Raquel Scott led all scorers with 27 points as the Crusaders pulled away from the Bison in the second half to advance to the semifinals of the Patriot League women’s tournament in Lewisburg, Pa.
Army 49, Boston University 45 — Kelsey Minato scored 26 points and the Black Knights held off the Terriers in the quarterfinals of the Patriot League women’s tournament in West Point, N.Y.
Duquesne 61, Rhode Island 53 — April Robinson scored 13 points to lead the Dukes over the Rams in the first round of the Atlantic 10 women’s tournament in Richmond, Va.
Saint Peter’s 65, Fairfield 62 — Desi Washington’s trey at the buzzer in overtime lifted the seventh-seeded Peacocks over the Stags for a first-round Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament win in Springfield.
Saint Peter’s (14-16) will face second-seeded Manhattan (22-7) on Saturday.
Steve Johnston hit a 3 with one second to play as 10th-seeded Fairfield (7-25) tied the score at 30 at halftime.
Fairfield led, 51-45, at 6:55 in the second, but Marvin Dominique’s free throw tied it at 58 at the end of regulation. Kris Rolle’s layup put the Peacocks up, 62-60, in overtime, but Maurice Barrow’s layup tied it at 62, then Washington hit his buzzer-beater.
Villanova 77, Xavier 70 — Darrun Hilliard scored 19 points and the sixth-ranked Wildcats clinched the outright Big East championship for the first time in 32 years by holding off the Musketeers in Cincinnati.
JayVaughn Pinkston added 15 points, James Bell finished with 12, and Ryan Arcidiacono chipped in with 11 as the Wildcats (27-3, 15-2 Big East) extended their school record for regular-season wins with their fifth straight and 11th in their last 12 games.
Villanova, which last won the title alone in 1981-82, wraps up its regular season Saturday at home against Georgetown.
The game was Xavier’s first without 6-foot-10-inch junior center Matt Stainbrook, who started each of the Musketeers’ previous 30 before straining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee in their loss at Seton Hall on Monday.
Cincinnati 97, Memphis 84 — Sean Kilpatrick scored a season-high 34 points in his final home game, and a trio of senior starters steadied the No 15 Bearcats in a win that left the American Athletic Conference race tied with a game to go.
The Bearcats (25-5, 14-3 AAC) remained tied atop the first-year league with No. 11 Louisville.
With a chance to break the race open, the 20th-ranked Tigers (22-8, 11-6) fell apart in the opening minutes and never fully recovered.
Michigan St. 86, Iowa 76 — Keith Appling (12 points) scored in double figures for the first time in more than five weeks and the No. 22 Spartans looked healthier than they had in months in a victory over the No. 24 Hawkeyes in East Lansing, Mich.