Marquette vs Villanova

Villanova bolsters tourney chances, tops Marquette


VILLANOVA, Pa. -- Villanova coach Jay Wright knew what his Wildcats were up against. Not only did Marquette walk into The Pavilion as the No. 17 team in the country, the tough, battle-tested Golden Eagles also came in with four convincing wins in their last five games.

"They beat a lot of teams," Wright said of Marquette, "because they compete harder and they execute better."

Not on Saturday.

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Darrun Hilliard scored 22 points and Ryan Arcidiacono and JayVaughn Pinkston both scored 11 to lead Villanova to a 60-56 upset. The Wildcats (18-10, 9-6 Big East) beat their third Top 25 conference team this season, and kept the Golden Eagles (19-7, 10-4) from snaring their 20th win.

It was not one to remember for Marquette. Junior Cadougan was its leading scorer with 12 points. And he was the only Golden Eagle in double figures. The effort drew the ire of coach Buzz Williams, who came down hard on his team's play, especially pointing a finger at Davante Gardner, Marquette's second-leading scorer, who was held to two points on 1-for-4 shooting. Gardner played only 11 minutes because the Marquette coach bluntly noted that "he played really bad."

"We were not 10-3 (in the Big East) because we did something unique offensively or defensively," Williams said. "We weren't 10-3 because we're the most-talented or best-coached. We were in a position to be in a position because of how hard we played. And we did not play hard enough today."

The Wildcats did, thanks to seniors Mouphtaou Yarou and Maurice Sutton, who stood on the scorer's table and saluted the sold-out crowd in a scene that is getting familiar around here. After being picked to finish 12th in the preseason Big East poll, the Wildcats are slowly and surprisingly inching closer to an NCAA tournament berth.

"You want them to play in significant, big-time games and leave an imprint on the program," Wright said. "So when you see those two stand up there and you see how much the students love them, that's your dream come true as a coach."

On Villanova's senior night, Yarou was honored before the game with a stirring video tribute. The 6-foot-10 center finished with 10 points and seven rebounds in his final game at The Pavilion, punctuating the hard-fought victory with a slam with 15 seconds remaining.

"I emptied my mind because I don't want to get too emotional," Yarou said. "When I get back to my room, I'll think about it."

Hilliard scored 11 points during a 7-minute stretch in the second half that helped the Wildcats turn a three-point lead into a comfortable 54-43 advantage with 3:30 left. For Wright, however, the most important thing Hilliard did was slow down Marquette's talented guards.

"I know he had 22 and we probably don't win without him," Wright said of Hilliard. "But we're not in the game unless he defended the way he defended."

Knowing Marquette's style of play, the flow of the game was no surprise to Wright.

"It's a great Big East grind," Wright said. "And they make you play that way."

Marquette outrebounded Villanova 37-24, but committed 19 turnovers and allowed the Wildcats to shoot nearly 60 percent from the field in the second half.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
Villanova is amped after taking down No. 17 Marquette to continue bolstering its tourney chances. (USATSI)
Villanova is amped after taking down No. 17 Marquette to continue bolstering its tourney chances. (USATSI)  
Marquette #17 (19-7)223456
Villanova (18-10) «223860
MARQET:J. Cadougan 12 Pts
MARQET:S. Taylor 8 Reb
MARQET:J. Cadougan 4 Ast
NOVA:D. Hilliard 22 Pts
NOVA:M. Yarou 7 Reb
NOVA:T. Chennault 3 Ast

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Junior Cadougan
Darrun Hilliard
Marquette Golden Eagles
T. Lockett, G343-50-04337
J. Cadougan, G325-101-234112
C. Otule, C303-51-26027
V. Blue, G302-83-43427
J. Anderson, F111-20-04032
J. Wilson, F192-40-02134
T. Mayo, G132-54-41009
S. Taylor, F122-40-08004
D. Gardner, F111-40-21022
D. Wilson, G81-20-00132
J. Thomas, GDid Not Play
J. Ferguson, GDid Not Play
D. Flood, GDid Not Play
Totals 22-499-1432131956
Villanova Wildcats
M. Yarou, F-C364-92-371110
R. Arcidiacono, G363-104-443111
D. Hilliard, G357-105-1022222
J. Bell, G250-40-02130
M. Sutton, F-C30-10-01010
J. Pinkston, F293-75-621311
T. Chennault, G201-20-02322
D. Ochefu, F121-12-23214
A. Yacoubou, G30-10-00000
M. Brzoja, G10-00-00000
D. Ennis, GDid Not Play
N. McMahon, GDid Not Play
P. Farrell, FDid Not Play
H. Lowe, GDid Not Play
Totals 19-4518-2523131460
Big East
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Seton Hall0-09-225
St. Johns0-08-219
Other games
SETON 61 Final
LOU 79
USM 73 Final
MIAMI 65 Final
OKST 73 Final
WVU 57
VCU 75 Final
XAV 71
WSU 56 Final
NMEX 91 Final
CSU 82
TCU 48 Final
KAN 74
GTOWN 57 Final
SYR 46
USD 50 Final
ARK 54 Final
FLA 71
STAN 66 Final
ORE 77
KSU 81 Final