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Saturday, February 21, 2015

No. 6 Villanova's Versatility Too Much For Marquette

                            Photo Credit: gomarquette.com


With Matt Carlino (concussion) out for the fourth straight game, the short-handed Marquette Golden Eagles could not find an answer for the Villanova Wildcats’ versatility on Saturday.

With five players finishing with double figures in points, No. 6 Villanova (25-2, 12-2 Big East) completed the regular-season sweep of Marquette (12-16, 3-12 Big East) 87-76 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wisc.

Darrun Hilliard led the way for Villanova with 16 points on 6-of-7 from the foul line and 4-for-11 from the field, including two three-point makes.

Dylan Ennis put together an all-around performance with 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists.

Wildcats coach Jay Wright gave credit to Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski for keeping his team competitive throughout the game.

“I think Wojo is doing a hell of a job,” Wright said. “They really compete.”

Villanova’s size overwhelmed Marquette as it won the rebounding battle 49-36.

For Marquette, Luke Fischer led the way with 15 points.

The Golden Eagles came out of the gate scoring the first five of the game.

Villanova would get on the board shortly after on Daniel Ochefu finding a cutting Ryan Arcidiacono for the layup on the baseline.

Both teams continued to exchange leads until Jayvaughn Pinkston’s two free throws put the Wildcats ahead 15-14 with 12:27 in the first half.

A huge turning point came with 6:04 left in the first half as double technical fouls were assessed to Pinkston and Duane Wilson. On the same play, Ochefu committed his third foul and Wright sat him as a result.

After Jajuan Johnson’s two makes from the charity stripe to put the Golden Eagles to 26-24, the Wildcats began to mix its offense up with Ochefu out and went on a 15-3 run over a 3:55 stretch.

Marquette would fight back as it closed the first half on a 7-2 run to cut its deficit to nine at the half.

The momentum the Golden Eagles carried going into the locker room disappeared as the Wildcats took control, going on an 8-2 run— highlighted by back-to-back triples from Arcidiacono in the first 1:18 of the second half.

The Wildcats’ lead would expand to its largest of the game at 63-46 with at the under 12-minute timeout.

Marquette would climb back to as close as nine points with 13 seconds left, but Villanova would come away with its eighth straight victory.

Looking Ahead:

Both teams are back in action on Feb. 25 when Villanova hosts Providence, while Marquette travels to Butler.

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Follow Geno Green on Twitter @GenoSportsguy.

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