Friday, February 26, 2016

The show goes on as Villanova tries to respond on the road at Marquette

Photo Credit: Geno Green 

Anything can happen in the BIG EAST conference.

Ask the No. 1-ranked Villanova Wildcats, as they went down to the No. 5 Xavier Musketeers, 90-83 on Feb. 24 at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Even in the loss, the show goes on and Villanova continues its two-game road trip at Marquette on Saturday.

Josh Hart comes into the matchup at Marquette as the leading scorer for Villanova with 15.0 points per game, along with an average of 7.4 rebounds.

Wildcats coach Jay Wright credited Hart's improvement to his relentless work ethic.

"[Josh] has done a lot of things well and I think his rebounding has improved the most, along with his decision-making," Wright said. 

"He is taking good shots and has a really good feel for the game on offense."

Marquette comes in with back-to-back wins away from the Bradley Center against DePaul and Creighton.

Wright credits Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski for the development of junior Luke Fischer and freshman Haanif Cheatham in conference play.

"What has made [Marquette] so good is that Wojo has done such a great job in developing Henry Ellenson throughout the year, but also bringing balance with Cheatham, Luke Fischer and JaJuan Johnson's improvement," Wright said. 

Even with Ellenson's 16 double-doubles on the season (13th in Division I), Wright knows other Golden Eagles could step up at any given point and can not take the other options lightly.

"You can't shut down Ellenson because the other players will step up and that is why they are playing so good right now," Wright said.

All-Time Series:

Villanova leads the all-time series 18-9, which dates back to 1960. 

However, 19 of the 27 meetings have come as members of the BIG EAST since Marquette joined in the 2005-06 season.

The Golden Eagles' last win against the Wildcats came on Jan. 28, 2013 (82-78). Since the victory, Marquette has dropped the last six games against Villanova.

Game Planner:

No. 1 Villanova at Marquette

Time: Saturday, 1 p.m. CT

TV/Online: Fox/ Fox Sports Go

Line: Villanova (-10)

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