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Friday Morning Shootaround: Villanova wins a Big 5 battle

No. 8 Villanova 78, Temple 74: Nova still has a long way to go before they are the team everyone expected them to be. Mouph Yarou is still learning how to play in the post. Corey Fisher is still struggling with his shot. Maalik Wayns has a tendency to dribble the air out of the ball. Offensively, this team isn’t perfect, but they were good enough last night to earn a rugged win against a good Temple team.

Wayns buoyed the team in the first half and played the role of the closer down the stretch, finishing with 21 points, 8 assists, and 4 steals. Corey Stokes added 24 points, including a number of big shots in the second half.

I’ve said it before, but I think Villanova’s strength this season is defense. They ran a 1-2-2 press tonight that completely took Temple out of what they wanted to do offensively. Dominic Cheek and Stokes are both tough, versatile defenders in the mold of Dwayne Anderson and Shane Clark, but with better offensive arsenals. Combine that with improved muscle up front, and the Wildcats are going to be just fine.

No. 10 Missouri 81, Old Dominion 58: Once again, Marcus Denmon’s hot shooting carried the Tigers. He had 22 points, including 14 in the first half, and hit five threes. More importantly, Mizzou battled to essentially a draw on the glass with a bigger, more physical ODU team.

No. 16 BYU 90, Buffalo 82: Jimmer Fredette had a season-high 34 points, including 28 in the second half, as the Cougars won in their second trip to Upstate New York in as many weeks.

No. 21 UCF 68, Princeton 62: Marcus Jordan had 26 points and led the Knights back from a 37-29 halftime deficit against the Tigers.

No. 22 Memphis 88, Lipscomb 70: Memphis got 28 points and 14 rebounds from Wesley Witherspoon, who needed a good game coming off of a couple of bad outings and a knee surgery.

Oklahoma 76, Central Arkansas 73: Things that aren’t good -- being unable to put away Central Arkansas at home.

Oregon State 80, Arizona State 58: Other things that aren’t good -- losing at Gill Coliseum. Utah Valley State, Texas Southern, and George Washington won there. The Sun Devils lost by 22. That is not a good sign for their Pac-10 hopes. To be fair, Trent Lockett -- ASU’s leading scorer and second leading rebounder -- did not play due to a sprained big toe. Regardless, this is a really, really bad loss.

Other Notable Scores:

  • Virginia Tech 64, USC-Upstate 53
  • Cornell 86, Wofford 80
  • Miami FL 94, Pepperdine 59
  • Cleveland State 73, Loyola IL 55
  • VCU 78, New Hampshire 65
  • Ole Miss 100, Alcorn State 62
  • Tulsa 69, TCU 66
  • Iowa State 60, Virginia 47
  • Southern Miss 64, Savannah State 54
  • Oakland 85, Oral Roberts 77
  • Murray State 71, SIU-Edwardsville 46
  • North Texas 81, Arkansas Little-Rock 69
  • UNLV 73, Central Michigan 47
  • Arizona 76, Oregon 57

Rob Dauster is the editor of the college basketball website Ballin’ is a Habit. You can find him on twitter @ballinisahabit.