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Al Behrman, Associated Press
Cincinnati forward Justin Jackson, left, pressures Villanova forward JayVaughn Pinkston during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012, in Cincinnati.

CINCINNATI — Dion Dixon scored 22 points in a fire-away offense, and Cincinnati overcame Maalik Wayns' 39-point performance Saturday, rallying for an 82-78 victory over Villanova.

The Bearcats (14-4, 4-1 Big East) took the ball inside down the stretch, converting a pair of three-point plays to take the lead for good with 5 minutes left.

Villanova (8-10, 1-5) remained winless on the road this season despite a career-best performance from its point guard. Wayns had 19 points in the first half, when the Wildcats shot 64 percent from the field and led by as many as 10. He finished with a career-high 13 rebounds.

Wayns' driving basket cut the lead to 81-78 with 6.6 seconds left. Cashmere Wright was fouled on the inbound play and made the first free throw to seal it.

Yancy Gates had 16 points and nine rebounds for Cincinnati, off to its best start in league play since it joined in 2005-06.