The 7th ranked Villanova Wildcats cruised past the visiting Marquette Golden Eagles 70-52 on Wednesday night, February 4th at the Wells Fargo Center in a Big East Conference battle.
Both teams started the game sluggishly, turning over the ball and missing a majority of their field goal attempts. For a time, it appeared that neither team would hit double figures in the opening half. Villanova started off shooting 2-11 (18.2%). Marquette was equally bad, hitting on three of its first fifteen shots (20%). Marquette took a 6-5 lead before Josh Hart’s bucket put the Wildcats in front. After Matt Carlino hit two treys to tie the score at 12-12, Villanova retook the lead on two free throws by Ryan Arcidiacono, the start of a 12-0 run with 8:59 to go in the half. The Wildcats would not trail again. Villanova then stretched its lead to 20 on a basket by Phil Booth right before the intermission, 36-16. A triple by Carlino made the halftime score 36-19.
In the second half, Villanova went on a 14-2 run to gain a 50-26 advantage with 12:15 left to play, effectively putting the game out of reach. The Wildcats’ spurt was led by Arcidiacono, JayVaughn Pinkston, and Hart. The closest the Golden Eagles came afterwards was 16 points with under a minute left.
Villanova, with the win, ran its record to 20-2, 7-2 Big East. Five Wildcats scored in double figures, with Arcidiacono leading the way with 18 points. Darrun Hilliard added 12 points, Hart had 11, and Pinkston and Phil Booth both chipped in 10. Villanova hit 23 of 61 field goal attempts (37.7%), including 11 of 26 three-pointers (42.3%). The Wildcats converted 13 of 19 shots from the charity stripe (68.4%). Villanova won the rebounding battle 44-38 with Daniel Ochefu grabbing 9 boards to pace Villanova. The Wildcats ended up with 15 assists, but committed 15 turnovers. Dylan Ennis distributed 6 assists to lead Villanova.
The Golden Eagles coached by longtime Duke assistant, Steve Wojciechowski, lost its 6th straight game. With the loss, Marquette’s record tumbled to 10-12, 2-8 Big East. For the offensively challenged Golden Eagles, their lone double figure scorer was JaJuan Johnson who ended up with 10 points. Carlino, who came into the game averaging 14.8 points, was held to 9 points, all in the opening twenty minutes.
Next up for Villanova is a rematch with the #24 Georgetown Hoyas on Saturday afternoon at 2PM at the Wells Fargo Center. Marquette will visit the Seton Hall Pirates on Saturday for an 11AM contest.
[Photo credit: D. Jacob Miller Photography]
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