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Villanova uses balanced attack to beat South Florida

Jan 7, 2011 - 2:43 AM Tampa, FL (Sports Network) - Corey Stokes scored 22 points and Dominic Cheek chipped in with 17, as seventh-ranked Villanova downed South Florida, 83-71, at the Sun Dome.

Maalik Wayns added 16 points and nine assists, while Corey Fisher posted a solid 12-point, six-assist, five-steal effort. Antonio Pena was the fifth Villanova (13-1, 2-0 Big East) player to reach double digits with 11 points to go along with seven rebounds.

Augustus Gilchrist led South Florida (6-10, 0-3) with 16 points and Shaun Noriega donated 13 for the Bulls. South Florida struggled to a 5-of-19 effort from beyond the arc with many of those attempts coming in a frantic rally attempt in the closing minutes.

Cheek's layup pushed the visitors out to an early 19-10 edge, but the Bulls rattled off eight consecutive points to pull back within one. The home team stayed close, even taking a 28-27 lead on Ron Anderson, Jr.'s slam with just over three minutes left in the first half.

Villanova took a slim 33-30 edge into the locker room, and Stokes' pure stroke from long distance opened a 40-33 margin not quite two minutes in. The advantage reached 49-38 on another Stokes three-pointer, as Villanova used a 16-8 scoring stretch to start the second half and open some breathing room.

The Bulls did not lose resolve, pulling within 54-49 on Noriega's three-point play just prior to the halfway point of the second half. However, Stokes drained a trey on the next offensive trip for the visitors, and the Bulls never got closer than seven the rest of the way.

Game Notes

Villanova has won all five meetings between the two programs...Stokes made all five of his three-point attempts -- the same number of makes as the entire USF team...The Wildcats shot 58.3 percent from the floor and buried 9-of-12 from long distance...Villanova also had a 21-to-9 assist-to-turnover ratio in the victory.