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No. 22 Villanova stifles Towson to remain undefeated

PHILADELPHIA -- Once Villanova settled down, everything else fell into place. Especially in the second half.

Scottie Reynolds scored 14 points, Dante Cunningham and Antonio Pena both had 12, and Villanova (No. 22 ESPN/USA Today, No. 20 AP) overcame a sluggish start to defeat Towson 64-47 in the Philly Classic on Friday night.

"I think we just executed better," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We weren't really poised in the first half."

Corey Fisher added 11 points for the Wildcats (5-0), who will play Rhode Island in Saturday's championship game. Rhode Island advanced by beating Penn State 77-72.

Junior Hairston scored 11 for Towson (3-2), which had been off to its best start in nine years. Hairston, the team's leading scorer and rebounder last season, gave the Tigers a lift in his second game back after being suspended for the first three games for a violation of team policy.

"This is the most physical team I've played since I've been at Towson," Hairston said. "There's a reason why they're ranked."

Villanova led by as many as nine in the first half, but Towson whittled the margin to 30-28. The Wildcats took a 33-28 halftime lead on Fisher's 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Villanova opened the second half with a 13-3 spurt, keyed by back-to-back baskets by Cunningham, to take a 46-30 lead with 13:32 left. The Wildcats extended their advantage to 53-32 on a basket by Pena with 10:02 remaining.

"We had open shots," Reynolds said. "In the second half, we came out and executed. We made the easy pass and we weren't trying to do everything by ourself with the ball."

Towson made only 18 of 55 shots, including 5-of-27 from 3-point range.

"We just couldn't make any shots," coach Pat Kennedy said. "We're really, really pleased with our effort. We really competed against them."