Nova hands Cincy first loss

How is it possible for an entire starting lineup to have four fouls down the stretch, none of them foul out and their team still win the game? Villanova made it a reality in its 72-61 win over Cincinnati on Sunday at the Pavilion.

Antonio Pena, Mouphtaou Yarou, Maalik Wayns, Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes were all buried in foul trouble late in the second half as Cincinnati cut a 21-point deficit to just seven.

“It was crazy,”?Villanova coach Jay Wright sad about the foul trouble. “We were platoon subbing. It was like a hockey game. We had lines going in there. When you leave and you’re doing that, you’re saying this is good for us — all this adversity, guys playing different positions.”

Corey Fisher and Maalik Wayns combined to shoot 18-of-19 from the free throw line for the Wildcats. The two starting guards, the only two Villanova players in double figures, combined for 36 points and nine assists.

Fisher said he didn’t play any differently while in foul trouble.

“That’s my job as being captain and leader of the team,”?said Fisher. “I gotta play hard for 40 minutes. If I foul out, I?got guys like Maalik (Wayns) that are gonna step up.”

The ‘Cats handed Cincinnati its first loss of the season. The Bearcats shot a miserable 2-for-20 on 3-point attempts and just 15-of-25 at the free-throw line.

Villanova (14-1, 3-0 Big East) has two more home games in the next week against Louisville and Maryland before playing three straight road games at UConn, Syracuse and Providence.

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