No. 5 Villanova routs Big Five rival Penn

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VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP)—Villanova coach Jay Wright was searching for any reason to call a timeout.

He never needed one. Not when the No. 5 Wildcats played a near-flawless game.

Maalik Wayns scored 16 points, Corey Stokes, Scottie Reynolds and Taylor King each added 14 and Villanova had no trouble in a 103-65 rout against city rival Pennsylvania on Monday night.

Corey Fisher scored 13 and Antonio Pena contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for the balanced Wildcats (2-0), who have won 19 of their last 20 games in Big Five play also encompassing Temple, La Salle and Saint Josephs. Villanova has now won seven straight over Penn.

“We kept playing well,” Wright said. “If we stopped playing, I kept thinking of calling a timeout. We kept playing. It was fun to be a part of that.”

Wright has won 302 games with Villanova (2001-present) and Hofstra (1994-2001) and he couldnt recall one of those games where he went without a timeout.

“I don’t think I have,” Wright said. “Hey, they just kept making really good plays.”

The Wildcats won their 30th in a row at The Pavilion, their cozy 6,500-seat on-campus arena. The streak began with a 102-87 victory over Notre Dame on Jan. 17, 2007.

Ten Villanova players scored, nine in the first half alone.

“When I go in the game, I just want to contribute as much as I can,” said King, who sat out last season after transferring from Duke.

Darren Smith scored 21 points and Rob Belcore added 16 for Penn (0-2), which dropped its season opener to NIT champion Penn State last Friday.

The Quakers have lost all seven career meetings on Villanova’s home court.

“We can play a better game,” said Penn coach Glen Miller. “It just snowballed on us. We couldnt keep up with them.”

Tyler Bernardini, Penn’s leading returning scorer at 13.7 points, was held scoreless on 0-for-3 shooting.

Miller said after the game that Bernardini injured his right foot and will undergo an MRI on Tuesday.

With Ed Pinckney—Villanova’s Most Valuable Player from its 1985 national championship team—looking on from the baseline, the 2009-10 version raced to a 55-25 advantage at halftime. This was more reminiscent of Villanova’s Final Four team from last season rather than the team which struggled against Fairleigh Dickinson in the season-opening game last Friday. The Wildcats held a slim 35-34 lead at halftime and then pulled away for an 84-61 victory.

Villanova used a suffocating halfcourt trap to fluster the Quakers early and often. It worked as the Wildcats forced 10 turnovers and limited Penn to 7-for-27 shooting, 4-of-17 from 3-point range in the first half.

“We want a slower pace,” Miller said.

The game was never close after halftime.

In fact, Villanova kept the pressure on with seven straight points to begin the second half—a jumper by Fisher, a 3-pointer by Fisher and a dunk by Pena— to take a commanding 62-25 lead.

That was certainly more than enough as the Wildcats shot 59 percent from the field.

“There was nothing they could do,” Wright said. “I actually felt for them.”

Villanova, which was 13-0 at home last season, leads 39-18 in the all-time series against Penn. Penn’s last win came on Dec. 10, 2002 at the Palestra.

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