Five players reach double-digit scoring as Villanova cruises

VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Games like this make it easy for Jay Wright to sit quietly on the bench.

Maalik Wayns scored 17 points and Dominic Cheek had 15 to lead Villanova (No. 7 ESPN/USA Today, No. 6 AP) to an 84-47 victory over Marist on Tuesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off.

Jay Bowie had 14 points for Marist (0-1), which extended Division I's longest losing streak to 19 games.

Villanova (2-0) hardly broke a sweat against the overmatched Red Foxes, who were 1-29 last season. The Wildcats have become NCAA tournament regulars under coach Wright, and reached the Final Four two years ago. They have won 39 straight games at The Pavilion.

Wright, who is usually animated courtside, watched from a seat the entire game. He didn't have to do much screaming or hollering.

"I tried [sitting] before and I liked it. Things were going well," Wright said.

The challenge will come when Villanova faces tougher opponents. Wright probably won't be sitting long, if at all, during those games.

"The Big 5 will be a bigger test," he said.

Villanova used a 19-1 run to take a 24-9 lead in the first half, and never looked back. Marist went 16 straight possessions without a field goal during that stretch. Wayns and Cheek each scored seven points during the run.

Marist pulled within 38-30 on a 3-pointer by Menelik Watson four minutes into the second half. But the Wildcats scored 12 in a row capped by a 4-point play by Wayns. He hit a 3 from the left wing, got fouled and made the free throw.

The Red Foxes didn't get closer than 16 the rest of the way. They haven't won since beating Manhattan on Jan. 2.

"They're No. 6 in the country and really, really good," Marist coach Chuck Martin said. "Their guard play is tremendous. They deserve to be highly ranked. They understand how to keep their foot on your throat."

Villanova was just 3 for 15 from 3-point range in the first half, but hit the first four from beyond the arc in the second half.

Corey Fisher didn't make a field goal until 10:30 remained in the game. He finished with 10 points on 1-of-5 shooting. He had seven assists and no turnovers. Fisher is expected to assume the clutch scoring role held by All-America guard Scottie Reynolds.

But the highly regarded Wayns showed he's capable of picking the slack and even more when needed. The lightning-quick duo form one of the most exciting backcourts in the nation.

"Corey is going to have some nights when he doesn't have it going," Wayns said. "He's the best guard in the country to me. I just have to pick him up when I can."

Maurice Sutton added 13 points for the Wildcats, whose top three scorers were sophomores.

"We try to temper expectations for Mo because he's not the best practice player, but he consistently performs in games," Wright said of Sutton. "He's a wonderful guy, never complains. This is what we want from him. He has to do it consistently."

Villanova plays the winner of the Boston University-George Washington game in the second round of the tournament on Wednesday night.

"As long as we're getting better, it doesn't matter what the scores are," Wright said. "Is our bench getting better? Are we developing depth?"

Villanova played without freshman forward JayVaughn Pinkston after he was charged last week with two counts of simple assault and harassment. He was involved in an altercation that led to an assault report and will be held out of games until the university's review is completed.