for this game

Fisher fuels Villanova to Big Five sweep

Dec 30, 2008 - 4:07 AM VILLANOVA, Pennsylvania (Ticker) -- Corey Fisher scored 19 of his 23 points in the second half as 13th-ranked Villanova recorded a 62-45 triumph over Temple to complete a Big Five sweep on Monday.

Dante Cunningham added 12 points and Scottie Reynolds scored eight for Villanova (12-1), which notched its 23rd straight home win as it heads into Big East conference play against 25th-ranked Marquette on Thursday.

The Wildcats posted victories over Philadelphia foes Pennsylvania, St. Joseph's and La Salle earlier in the season. They have won 18 of their last 19 Big Five contests.

Fisher went 7-of-8 from the field - including a perfect 4-of-4 effort from 3-point range - as the Wildcats overcame a three-point halftime deficit by outscoring the Owls, 40-20, in the final 20 minutes of the contest.

"We know that for a lot of teams we play against, they are going to try to shut Scottie down," Fisher said. "They are going to try to do that to Dante too. Those guys are our captains. Other guys have got to make plays.

"Scottie kept talking to me, telling me to be aggressive. I've learned so much from him and I look up to him. He just gave me more confidence and I tried to give my team more confidence in me."

Villanova coach Jay Wright was pleased with Fisher's performance.

"I didn't tell him tonight to be aggressive," Wright said. "I'm always telling him that. Of course, I'm very biased. He's the greatest kid in the world. He's as coachable as (you'd want). He's really had some great practices.

"That's what we need him to do. Sometimes he just defers to the older guys - too much respect and that's not a bad thing. But we needed that tonight. What he was able to do was create his own shot and get in the lane. He got open 3s because he was in the lane before that. No one else on our team was really able to break them down and he sparked us big time."

Dionte Christmas had 13 points and Micheal Eric and Ryan Brooks added nine apiece to pace Temple (5-6), which has lost three in a row after an impressive win over then-No. 8 Tennessee.

The Owls increased their halftime lead to 32-24 with 14 minutes remaining in the contest, but went the next 11 1/2 minutes without a field goal as the Wildcats pulled away.

"You get a game like tonight where, overall I thought our defense was pretty good, with the exception of letting Corey Fisher go in the second half like he did," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said. "He was terrific in the second half. Every time he got an open look he buried it. He made a couple of great drives to the basket, one getting a 3-point play for them.

"I think that's the sign of a good team. Maybe Reynolds is not knocking them out. Cunningham really didn't do much in the second half. But Corey Fisher just arrives on the scene. I think that's a great credit to their team, to Jay and how they play. They did what they needed to do to find a way to win the game."