Instant Replay: Villanova upends No. 17 Marquette

Instant Replay: Villanova upends No. 17 Marquette
February 23, 2013, 8:15 pm
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VILLANOVA, Pa. -- If you’re ranked in the Top 25, you probably don’t want to play Villanova.

For the third time in less than a month, the Wildcats defeated a nationally ranked team at home, this time besting No. 17 Marquette, 60-56, in a grind-it-out Big East game Saturday night at the Pavilion.

Sophomore Darrun Hilliard had a huge game for the ’Cats, scoring 14 of his game-high 22 points in the second half, including two clutch three-pointers.

The win was an important one for the Wildcats (18-10 overall, 9-6 Big East), who were squarely on the bubble coming into Saturday’s contest but can probably now rest a little more comfortably as far as their NCAA tournament hopes are concerned.

The Golden Eagles dropped to 19-7 overall and 10-4 in the Big East with the loss.

First half
Both teams shot less than 30 percent from the field and combined for 15 turnovers as the game sputtered to halftime knotted at 22.

Marquette’s first made field goal didn’t come until nearly six minutes into the game, but the Wildcats weren’t able to take advantage that and build much of an early lead.

Hilliard led ’Nova in first-half scoring with eight points, while Todd Mayo, the younger brother of Dallas Mavericks guard O.J. Mayo, paced Marquette with seven.

Turning point
With a little less than 10 minutes remaining in the second half, Hilliard dove for a steal at midcourt and teammate Tony Chennault basically took it out of his hands, before driving for an open finger-roll to put the Wildcats up five with 9:45 left.

Before that, no team had more than a one-possession advantage in the second half. But after Chennault’s layup, Marquette never came within four of the hosts.

Inside the box score
·      In addition to Hilliard, three other Wildcats – Ryan Arcidiacono (11 points), JayVaughn Pinkston (11 points) and Mouphtaou Yarou (10 points) – finished in double figures.

·      Senior guard Junior Cadougan (12 points) was the only player in double figures for Marquette.

·      Villanova shot 56.5 percent from the floor in the second half.

·      Villanova had 17 points off turnovers, while Marquette only had two.

Senior night
Villanova’s two seniors – Yarou and Maurice Sutton – were honored before the game with a tribute video.

Yarou had seven rebounds and punctuated the win with a final-minute slam. Sutton started but played sparingly, finishing with one rebound.

Ranked teams at the Pavilion
Saturday’s game marked the first time Villanova played a nationally ranked team at the Pavilion since Pittsburgh came to town on Feb. 12, 2011.

In total, the Wildcats have hosted a ranked team at the Pavilion 39 times, going an even 19-19 in their previous 38 meetings.

The series
Villanova leads the all-time series with Marquette, 12-9, but the Golden Eagles had won three of the last four coming into Saturday’s matchup.

The Wildcats are now 5-0 all-time against Marquette at the Pavilion.

What’s next?
Villanova hits the road, facing Seton Hall on Monday and then Pitt next Sunday. Marqutte has two straight games against nationally ranked teams on ESPN, playing Syracuse on Monday and Notre Dame on Saturday.

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