Cincinnati tops Villanova 72-68 in Big East finale

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PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Yancy Gates scored 16 points and Dion Dixon had 14 to lead Cincinnati to a 72-68 win over Villanova on Saturday in the final game for both teams before the Big East tournament.

The Bearcats (22-9, 12-6) got late 3s from Sean Kilpatrick and JaQuon Parker to snap a tie game and send them to their fifth win in six games. Kilpatrick had 13 points and Parker 11.

Maalik Wayns led Villanova (12-18, 5-13) with 26 points and Mouphtaou Yarou scored 16. After making 12 of 18 3-pointers in a win against Rutgers, the Wildcats followed with an 8 for 22 effort.

The Bearcats made only 7 of 22 but started connecting down the stretch to put the game away.

Gates became the seventh player in Cincinnati history to reach 1,400 career points and 850 career rebounds. The Bearcats won 12 conference games for the first time since joining the Big East.