Villanova won another tight one against Marquette, 75-70 on Wednesday night. The 'Cats took the Golden Eagles into halftime with a 10-point lead and held on to a lead for the rest of the game, despite letting Marquette chip it all the way down to 3 points before two Antonio Pena free-throws in the final seconds made it a five-point game.
For the second-straight game, Maalik Wayns opened the action on the bench, this time, Isaiah Armwood got the start in his place. Armwood only scored two points, but contributed 6 boards and a block during the game.
Mouph Yarou was a factor in this game for the first time in a while. Perhaps it was the undersized Marquette line-up that allowed him to score 18 points and grab 6 boards (along with 1 steal), but overall the man from Benin looked more aggressive than he had over the last stretch.
Antonio Pena was a big factor in this game, however, and in addition to those two free throws that iced the game, he also showed increased aggressiveness inside tonight. Scoring 14 points and 11 rebounds to record a double-double and become the 54th Villanovan to eclipse 1,000 career points. He showed a willingness to take a tough shot and draw contact inside, putting the MU bigs in foul trouble and getting him to the line for 9 free-throws.
The 'Cats had 5 players get into double-digits against the Golden Eagles, including three guards. Corey Fisher had 17, while Corey Stokes, who struggled at times to find his deep shot, added 17 points. Maalik Wayns scored 10 points while coming off the bench.
Two Marquette players finished the game with 15 points, Jimmy Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom, and no other player had more than 9 on their team. Jae Crowder fouled out in the second half, and Chris Otule (MU's tallest player at 6'11") was also in foul trouble, ending the game with four fouls.
Overall, the 'Cats recorded fewer assists (11) than turnovers (12), but perhaps made up for a lack of ball-security by holding Marquette to only 18.8% shooting from 3-point land. Villanova reached the free-throw line more than twice as many times as their opponent, and with a slightly lower FG% overall, those extra shots from the charity-stripe ultimately made the difference.
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Next up for the 'Cats is a Noon meeting with West Virginia on Saturday.
What did you think of tonight's game? Grade the players and coaches below.