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Villanova bounces Temple in Big Five battle

Dec 31, 2010 - 3:57 AM Villanova, PA (Sports Network) - Corey Stokes scored 24 points and Maalik Wayns added 21, helping eighth-ranked Villanova hold off No. 25 Temple, 78-74, in a Big 5 contest at the Pavilion.

Mouphtaou Yarou posted 14 points for the Wildcats (11-1), who have won six in a row. They were coming off last week's 76-36 thrashing of Monmouth, but had a tougher time Thursday, when they had to withstand several second-half rallies by Temple in order to win.

Lavoy Allen netted 22 points with nine rebounds to pace the Owls (9-3), who had won their last six. Juan Fernandez added 20 points in defeat.

Villanova trailed for the final seven minutes of the first half and was down by one at the break. But with the game tied a little more than four minutes into the second half, the Wildcats went on a 10-0 run. Antonio Pena's jumper with 13:49 left capped the rally for a 55-45 Villanova lead.

However, Villanova gave that lead up a few minutes later, when Temple ran off 13 consecutive points. Fernandez and Scootie Randall drained threes to bookend the run, which had the Owls leading 60-57 with 9:16 left.

But with 6:57 on the clock, Wayns sank a layup to end a seven-point burst that put Villanova ahead by a 67-62 margin, and the Wildcats didn't surrender the lead again.

Temple stayed within one or two possessions until Fisher sank two free throws with 80 seconds to play, giving Villanova a 73-66 cushion.

The Owls responded with a Ramone Moore layup and had a good chance to get closer when Yarou couldn't sink a layup and Fisher missed a free throw.

But with a little under a minute to play, Moore misfired on a three, and Villanova used foul shots to build a 76-68 margin with 18 seconds left.

Temple had one more rally left, and got within 76-74 on Allen's three-pointer with three seconds remaining. However, Wayns made two attempts from the line to secure Villanova's victory.

The teams struggled to gain control for most of the first half, when Temple took only 21 shots but made 12 -- including six three-pointers. The Owls led by as many as eight before the Wildcats chipped away, and Wayns' jumper at the buzzer made it a 40-39 contest at halftime.

Game Notes

While the Owls shot 57 percent in the first half, they made only 30 percent of their shots (10-of-33) in the final 20 minutes...Villanova shot 45 percent overall, including a 12-of-24 effort in the second half...Moore ended with 16 points, eight boards and three blocks for the Owls, but turned the ball over six times...Wayns added eight assists.