Maalik Wayns gave Villanova the lead for good on a three-point play with 1 minute, 9 seconds to play and Corey Fisher hit three free throws in the final 13.5 seconds to lift the 12th-ranked Wildcats to an 84-81 victory over La Salle today in a Big Five game at Tom Gola Arena.
The Explorers held a 74-66 lead with 5:23 to play but hit only two field goals after that. The Wildcats were helped during their rally by five consecutive possessions in which they scored three points, either on a basket from beyond the arc or of the old-fashioned variety.
Freshman Sam Mills knocked down a three-ball with 1:43 to play to give La Salle its last lead at 79-78. But Wayns drove the lane for a layup and hit the subsequent free throw.
Fisher made two free throws with 13.5 seconds to play and hit one of two with 10.1 seconds remaining. He missed the second and the Explorers came up court with a chance to tie but missed two three-point attempts. Duren's trey was blocked by Maurice Sutton, and Mills' attempt at the buzzer hit the front of the rim.
The Wildcats had five players in double figures led by Wayns with 19 and Fisher and Corey Stokes with 16 apiece. Jerrell Williams led the Explorers with 20.
Aaric Murray, La Salle's top scorer, was plagued by foul trouble the entire game. He managed just four points and five rebounds in 12 minutes.