In a game they had to win, the Villanova Wildcats found a way to come back late to defeat the Marquette Golden Eagles 61-67. Jermaine Samuels put his teammates on his back to the tune of 29 points 9 rebounds and 1 assists. It was a career high for the sophomore, and surpassed his scoring output for the last ten games combined.
The Wildcats went on an 8-0 run in the final minutes for the come from behind victory. Despite poor team foul shooting all game, senior Phil Booth was able to hit two late free throws to give Nova a comfortable lead. Fittingly, Jermaine Samuels pulled finished with the ball in his hands. Villanova is now just a half game behind Marquette in conference play with a week and a half left in the regular season.
The game started as a tough physical struggle for both sides. Marquette got into early turnover trouble, while Villanova didn’t make its first basket until the five minute mark. Jermaine Samuels led the Wildcats in the first half with 15 points, 3 rebounds, and an assist. Phil Booth and Eric Paschall struggled in the first half, combining for 8 points on 2 of 11 shooting.
- It was a white out for Villanova’s senior night, honoring Phil Booth, Eric Paschall, Tim Delaney, Joe Cremo, and Peyton Heck. Everyone in attendance was supplied with a white T-Shirt in case they weren’t already dressed for the occasion.
- Special guest Mikal Bridges was also honored with the senior day he never got in his last season at Nova. Unfortunately the Phoenix Suns star didn’t put his Wildcat jersey back on for this one.
- Bridges wasn’t the only alum back for a visit. Randy Foye and Kevin Rafferty were also on hand to catch the game.
- Both teams were playing tough, physical defense to start the game. Nova Nation was on their feet for the first five minutes until Jermaine Samuels drove the lane for a huge dunk.
- Despite being down at halftime, Marquette out-rebounded Villanova (+4) and shot better (+12%) in the first half. The main reason they were down four was losing the turnover battle (-7).