61
TF 13
FINAL
End
2nd
FS1
Wed Feb. 27
9:00pm
BONUS
67
TF 8
ML: +194
NOVA -5, O/U 141.5
ML: -232
MARQET
NOVA

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Samuels scores 29, Villanova beats No. 10 Marquette 67-61

VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) Jermaine Samuels' point production mirrored Villanova's win total over the last three games: a big 0.

Samuels morphed from scoreless to sensational to deny No. 10 Marquette a piece of the Big East crown Wednesday night. He hit five 3-pointers and scored a career-high 29 points as defending national champion Villanova snapped a three-game losing streak with a 67-61 win over the Golden Eagles.

Saddiq Bey hit the go-ahead 3-pointer with 2:31 left to help the Wildcats (21-8, 12-4 Big East) keep their hopes alive for a conference title with a needed win in their final game this season at their on-campus arena. Villanova won its first 10 Big East games and appeared headed to a No. 1 seed in the league tournament next month until it hit the skids on the road - losses to St. John's, Georgetown and Xavier that opened the door for Marquette.

The Golden Eagles (23-5, 12-3) pounced and would have secured both a share of the Big East title and the top seed in the conference tournament with a victory against `Nova.

But who would have counted on Samuels to spoil Marquette's run?

Villanova has tried a maze of options throughout an uneven season to find a reliable third scorer after the 1-2 threat of Phil Booth and Eric Paschall. Booth, who averages 19.6 points, scored 17 and Paschall snapped a streak of 23 straight games in double figures with four points Wednesday. Paschall's off night left the offense open for another option - and Samuels delivered.

''We've been trying to teach him what kind of decisions to make when they don't guard you,'' Villanova coach Jay Wright said.

The decision was clear, shoot!

Samuels had averaged only 4.1 points per game this season - and that included a 15-point game with three 3-pointers in a win against Temple in early December. The 6-foot-7, 220-pound sophomore forward hit only seven more 3s during that span and was somehow scoreless in each of his last three games. He missed his only two field goal tries (both 3s) and did not attempt a free throw during Villanova's losing streak.

''I just want to be aggressive and make plays,'' Samuels said.

Left open against the Golden Eagles, Samuels hit two 3s in a 15-point first half and shot 10 of 19 overall from the floor.

''I wish we weren't the only team he hit 3s against,'' Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski said. ''They put you in very tough positions because of their ability to shoot from the other positions.''

Samuels buried a tying 3 in the second half that made it 48-all and converted a three-point play that made it 51-all.

The reason for all the ties? Markus Howard, who scored 25 points, reached 1,000 points in his career and proved again why he's the top Big East player of the year candidate. Howard nailed a pair of go-ahead 3s in the second half and scored 13 of Marquette's first 23 points in the period.

Howard was whistled for his fourth foul at 9:28 in the second half and went to the bench, slowing Marquette's roll.

''Getting stops and rebounding, that's what changes the game,'' Booth said.

With Howard out, the five-point favorite Wildcats did just enough to stay in the Big East race. Bey made the decisive 3 for a 61-60 lead and Booth, the two-time national champ, hit a pair of free throws with 1:30 left to keep it a three-point game. Samuels sealed it with two from the line with 11.1 seconds left that had fans going wild on senior night.

''This was March-level intensity,'' Wojciechowski said. ''It was a heck of a college basketball game. Villanova deserved to win. They made more plays when it counted the most.''

BIG PICTURE

Marquette beat Villanova 66-65 at home this month but has not defeated the Wildcats in consecutive games since sweeping the season series in 2011-12.

With two regular-season games remaining, Villanova needs Marquette to drop at least one of its final three to have a shot at the Big East title.

SKID ROW

The Wildcats, who fell out of the Top 25 this week, were on their first three-game losing streak since the 2012-13 season.

UP NEXT

Marquette plays next Wednesday at home against Creighton.

Villanova hosts Butler on Saturday at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.

---

More AP college basketball: https://apnews.com/Collegebasketball and https://twitter.com/AP-Top25

Copyright 2019 by AP. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of AP is strictly prohibited.

Key Players
M. Howard
0 G
P. Booth
5 G
34.6 Min. Per Game 34.6
18.4 Pts. Per Game 18.4
3.8 Ast. Per Game 3.8
3.8 Reb. Per Game 3.8
43.8 Field Goal % 42.4
43.3 Three Point % 35.7
91.3 Free Throw % 74.3
  Defensive rebound by Eric Paschall 4.0
  Markus Howard missed 3-pt. jump shot 6.0
+ 1 Jermaine Samuels made 2nd of 2 free throws 11.0
+ 1 Jermaine Samuels made 1st of 2 free throws 11.0
  Personal foul on Sam Hauser 11.0
  Defensive rebound by Jermaine Samuels 27.0
  Theo John missed free throw 27.0
  Personal foul on Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree 11.0
  Offensive rebound by Marquette 9.0
  Markus Howard missed 3-pt. jump shot, blocked by Jermaine Samuels 13.0
  Offensive rebound by Sacar Anim 17.0
Team Stats
Points 61 67
Field Goals 23-48 (47.9%) 20-58 (34.5%)
3-Pointers 9-22 (40.9%) 9-32 (28.1%)
Free Throws 6-10 (60.0%) 18-26 (69.2%)
Total Rebounds 34 33
Offensive 4 12
Defensive 25 18
Team 5 3
Assists 12 14
Steals 1 4
Blocks 2 3
Turnovers 17 7
Fouls 20 15
Technicals 0 0
25 PTS, 2 REB, 4 AST
29 PTS, 9 REB, 1 AST
12T
away team logo 10 Marquette 23-5 283361
home team logo Villanova 21-8 323567
Team Stats
away team logo 10 Marquette 23-5 77.3 PPG 41 RPG 13.4 APG
home team logo Villanova 21-8 73.7 PPG 37.8 RPG 14.0 APG
Key Players
0
M. Howard G 25.0 PPG 4.0 RPG 3.9 APG 42.0 FG%
23
J. Samuels F 6.4 PPG 5.4 RPG 1.0 APG 44.8 FG%
Top Scorers
M. Howard G 25 PTS 2 REB 4 AST
J. Samuels F 29 PTS 9 REB 1 AST
47.9 FG% 34.5
40.9 3PT FG% 28.1
60.0 FT% 69.2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Howard 25 2 4 8/19 4/11 5/6 4 33 0 0 7 0 2
S. Hauser 13 7 2 5/9 3/6 0/0 2 39 0 0 1 1 6
J. Hauser 8 6 3 3/6 1/2 1/2 3 39 0 0 4 0 6
S. Anim 2 4 1 1/6 0/2 0/0 1 34 0 0 3 1 3
T. John 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/1 4 13 0 1 0 0 1
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
M. Howard 25 2 4 8/19 4/11 5/6 4 33 0 0 7 0 2
S. Hauser 13 7 2 5/9 3/6 0/0 2 39 0 0 1 1 6
J. Hauser 8 6 3 3/6 1/2 1/2 3 39 0 0 4 0 6
S. Anim 2 4 1 1/6 0/2 0/0 1 34 0 0 3 1 3
T. John 2 1 0 1/1 0/0 0/1 4 13 0 1 0 0 1
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
E. Morrow 6 3 0 3/4 0/0 0/1 4 17 1 1 1 1 2
J. Chartouny 3 3 2 1/2 1/1 0/0 0 10 0 0 1 0 3
M. Heldt 2 3 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 2 10 0 0 0 1 2
J. Cain 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
B. Bailey 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
C. Marotta - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. McEwen - - - - - - - - - - - - -
I. Eke - - - - - - - - - - - - -
G. Elliott - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Lelito - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Jaffee - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Gardiner - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 61 29 12 23/48 9/22 6/10 20 200 1 2 17 4 25
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Samuels 29 9 1 10/19 5/13 4/9 4 36 0 1 2 5 4
P. Booth 17 5 7 3/18 1/8 10/10 2 37 1 0 1 2 3
C. Gillespie 7 3 1 2/6 1/4 2/2 2 23 1 0 2 0 3
E. Paschall 4 4 1 2/9 0/3 0/0 1 39 1 0 1 1 3
S. Bey 3 3 0 1/4 1/3 0/0 2 30 0 1 1 1 2
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
J. Samuels 29 9 1 10/19 5/13 4/9 4 36 0 1 2 5 4
P. Booth 17 5 7 3/18 1/8 10/10 2 37 1 0 1 2 3
C. Gillespie 7 3 1 2/6 1/4 2/2 2 23 1 0 2 0 3
E. Paschall 4 4 1 2/9 0/3 0/0 1 39 1 0 1 1 3
S. Bey 3 3 0 1/4 1/3 0/0 2 30 0 1 1 1 2
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
D. Cosby-Roundtree 4 4 3 1/1 0/0 2/4 4 22 1 1 0 2 2
J. Cremo 3 2 1 1/1 1/1 0/1 0 13 0 0 0 1 1
T. Delaney - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. Heck - - - - - - - - - - - - -
J. Quinerly - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Swider - - - - - - - - - - - - -
T. Saunders - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Slater - - - - - - - - - - - - -
K. Hoehn - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 67 30 14 20/58 9/32 18/26 15 200 4 3 7 12 18