James Bell and Darrun Hilliard II scored 11 points apiece as the Wildcats soared past the visiting Bulldogs in Big East play.

Josh Hart contributed eight points and eight rebounds as Villanova (25-3, 13-2) won for the ninth time in 10 games. The victory moves the Wildcats into a first-place tie with Creighton with three regular-season games remaining.

Kellen Dunham scored 12 points and Khyle Marshall added 10 for Butler (12-16, 2-14). The Bulldogs shot just 30.6 percent from the field and 4-of-19 from 3-point range while losing their seventh straight game and 14th of the last 16th.

Villanova enjoyed a 17-point first-half lead but saw Butler whittle it down to 11 with just over 14 minutes to play. The Wildcats answered with a 21-3 burst over a stretch of six minutes to take a 60-31 lead and cruised to the finish.

Butler trailed 10-9 about 11 1/2 minutes into the game before the Wildcats began pulling away. Villanova led by 17 late in the half before setting for a 34-20 lead at the break.

GAME NOTEBOOK: The Wildcats shot just 39.7 percent from the field, including 7-of-29 from 3-point range. … Dunham was just 1-of-9 from 3-point range and is 9-of-37 over the past five games. … Villanova hauled down 18 offensive rebounds while holding a 42-35 edge on the boards.