VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Ryan Arcidiacono scored 17 points as Villanova overcame struggles from the field in a 70-60 victory over New Jersey Institute of Technology on Friday night.
It was the final nonconference game for Villanova (9-4), which opens Big East play next Wednesday by hosting St. John's.
Villanova shot just 30.8 percent (20 of 65) from the field, including 5 of 27 3-point attempts.
Ryan Woods had 13 points for NJIT (6-6).
The Highlanders, who began Division I play in 2006-07, were playing their fourth Big East team this season. NJIT lost its three previous games to St. John's, Providence and Seton Hall by a combined 18 points.
NJIT led the Friars 63-62 with 4:17 left and held a 14-point lead over St. John's in the first half.
The Wildcats made 25 of 33 free-throw attempts, while NJIT was 8 for 15 from the line.
Villanova struggled to a five-point halftime lead before appearing to gain control with a 10-5 run to start the second half, giving it a 42-32 lead with 16:06 remaining.
But NJIT didn't wilt, outscoring the Wildcats 19-9 over the next 10:12 to knot the score at 51 with 7:54 left.
Then, Pinkston scored six of the next eight Villanova points to help the Wildcats reclaim the lead, 59-54, with 4:49 to play. The Wildcats stretched the margin to seven points when Hilliard converted a fast-break layup after a steal by Tony Chennault to put Villanova up 65-58 with 1:37 left.
NJIT couldn't get closer than five points the rest of the way.