PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Corey Fisher scored 21 points and Maalik Wayns had 14 to lead No. 10 Villanova to its fourth straight win, 78-59 over Delaware on Saturday night.
The Wildcats (9-1) used a 14-0 run early in the second half to deny Delaware its first win against a Top 25 team. The Wildcats continued to produce long stretches of lethargic basketball and do just enough to beat inferior competition.
James Bell scored eight of his 10 points in the first half to hold off the scrappy Blue Hens (5-3).
Jawan Carter scored 14 points and Jamelle Hagins had 12. Hagins, who entered fourth in Division I with 3.6 blocks per game, had seven against Villanova.
Delaware is 0-26 against Top 25 teams.
The Blue Hens gave Villanova fits for most of the first 30 minutes. They had two serious runs. The first came early in the second half when Josh Brinkley’s jumper and D.J.
Boney’s three-point play cut the lead to 39-34.
The Wildcats thwarted that spurt with a decisive 14-0 run. Wayns and Fisher hit consecutive 3s and Corey Stokes scored on a twisting reverse layup to start the run.
Fisher ended it with a steal and fastbreak layup for a 53-34 lead.
It wasn’t enough to put away a Blue Hens team trying to join Illinois-Chicago and Oakland as recent upset winners over Top 25 teams. The Blue Hens cut it to 54-46, but Fisher delivered on defense with another steal and kicked out to Wayns for a 3-pointer and a 57-46 lead.
The Wildcats haven’t looked like a dominant top-10 team most of the season. They lost to the only ranked team they played (Tennessee), then beat Saint Joseph’s by 11, Penn by 12 and La Salle by three.
There’s one more tune-up Wednesday at Monmouth before the big city showdown against Temple on Dec. 30.
Late in the first half, Delaware had made only three baskets but was 11 for 11 from the free-throw line to keep the score within seven.
Bell came on strong for the first time his freshman season to help the Wildcats. He scored eight straight points in the first half and his driving layup late in the half gave Villanova a 30-20 lead — they Wildcats led 34-24 at halftime.
Villanova played the first of seven games this season at the Philadelphia 76ers’ arena.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
(Photo provided by villanova.com.)