Villanova vs. Marquette: Wildcats Win 46th Straight at the Pavilion
The Villanova Wildcats (18-4 overall, 6-3 Big East) broke a two game skid and won their 46th consecutive game at the Pavilion by beating the Marquette Golden Eagles (14-9, 5-5 Big East) on Wednesday night.
The Wildcats won the hard-fought battle with Marquette despite scoring six fewer field goals than the Golden Eagles. The Wildcats hit 21 of 48 field goal attempts compared to Marquette hitting 26 field goals in 59 attempts. The Wildcats, however, converted 29 of 33 foul shots, while Marquette attempted only 14 (making 13 of them).
Leading the way for Villanova, who had 5 players in double figures, were Mouphtaou Yarou who had 18 points, and Corey Fisher who scored 17 points. Antonio Pena, who became the 54th player in Villanova basketball history to score over a 1,000 points in his career, had a double-double with 14 points and a game high 10 rebounds. Corey Stokes added 14 points and Maalik Wayns, who came off the bench, scored 10.
The Wildcats ran off 8 straght points midway through the first-half to take a 21-14 lead, that they never relinquished. After Maalik Wayns converted two foul shots to put Villanova on top 13-12, Yarou scored 6 straight points to stretch the lead to 19-12. The Wildcats went to the locker room sporting a 9 point lead 34-25 at half time. Villanova held the Golden Eagles to 34.6% shooting in the first-half, while shooting 40% themselves.
In the second-half, Villanova stretched its lead to what appeared to be a comfortable 13 points, 46-33, at the 14:30 mark on a old-fashioned three point play by Pena (whom Coach Jay Wright called,”…a rock for this team”). Eventually the lead grew to 14 points (on two made foul shots by Wayns) 53-39 with 11:17 left in the game. Marquette, showing their resiliency, kept cutting into the Wildcats lead and with 5:04 left on the clock, made it a 3 point game 62-59.
Three more times the Golden Eagles cut Villanova’s lead to three points, the last on a Darious Johnson-Odom basket, to make it a 73-70 game. However, the Wildcats showed their mettle and hung on to close out the game with Corey Fisher and Mouph Yarou each scoring key baskets. Antonio Pena hit two key foul shots after Johnson-Odom’s basket to close out the game with Villanova on top 75-70.
For Marquette, coached by Buzz Williams, Jimmy Butler and Johnson-Odom each had 15 points.
Isaiah Armwood got the start for the Wildcats in place of Maalik Wayns and scored the only other 2 points for Villanova. Dominic Cheek, Maurice Sutton, and James Bell played a total of 9 minutes and did not score.
Villanova next plays this coming Saturday at the Wells Fargo Center hosting the West Virginia Moutaineeers, coached by Bobby Huggins, in a noon time game (which will be televised on ESPN). Marquette next plays on February 9th when they travel to Tampa to take on the University of South Florida.
Notable fans in attendance included former 76ers coach Larry Brown and current Philadelphia Flyers players Mike Richards, Claude Giroux, and Dan Carcillo.
For a full photo gallery and slide show from this game CLICK HERE
You can view our video of Villanova’s post-game press conference below: