Cunningham, Villanova hold off Rhode IslandNov 30, 2008 - 5:35 AM PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- Dante Cunningham had 19 points and 12 rebounds and Corey Fisher scored all 14 of his points in the first half as No. 22 Villanova posted a 78-65 victory over Rhode Island on Saturday.
Scottie Reynolds chipped in 13 points and Reggie Redding had 11 and 12 rebounds for the Wildcats (6-0), who had five players score in double figures.
"I think we played a very, very good team, a very tough team, a well-coached team, and we're proud of our guys," Villanova coach Jay Wright told the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Reggie did a great job on (Jimmy) Baron in the second half, and Dante was great."
Reynolds scored five points during a 13-2 run as Villanova held an 18-8 lead with 13:03 left in the first half.
Rhode Island refused to go away, cutting the deficit to 31-28 with 2:56 left in the half, but Villanova closed strong and took a 40-33 advantage into the locker rooms. Fisher converted a three-point play with four seconds left in the half.
The Wildcats kept the Rams at bay early in the second half, using a 7-0 burst to take a 47-35 advantage with 17:48 left.
Jimmy Baron's 3-pointer brought Rhode Island within 53-44, but again Villanova created separation with six straight points to take a 59-44 lead with 11:38 remaining.
Rhode Island, which shot 36 percent (11-of-31) in the second half, never got closer than eight the rest of the way.
Redding had seven of his 12 rebounds on the offensive end to help Villanova make up for shooting 2-of-15 from the arc.
"I know everybody picks all-tournament teams, it's fair and it's good - but in our program, what Reggie did tonight, that's what we're most proud of," Wright told the newspaper. "He's an MVP within our family after that game, rebounding like that and playing defense like that."
Baron finished with 23 points to lead the Rams (5-2), who had their four-game winning streak snapped.
The senior guard, who came into the game shooting 58 percent (26-of-45) from the arc, connected on 2-of-5 3-pointers and was 8-of-15 from the floor overall.
- PHILLY CLASSIC
NCAA BB PHILLY CLASSIC
FINAL 1ST 2ND TOTAL
--- --- -----
RHODE ISLAND 33 14 47
VILLANOVA (22) 40 24 64 FINAL
Nov 29 11:51 PM
- PHILLY CLASSIC
NCAA BB RHODE ISLAND 33
(22) VILLANOVA 40 HALFTIME
Nov 29 9:47 PM
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