Darrun Hilliard II poured in a career-high 26 points as the host Wildcats swept the season series from the Golden Eagles. By virtue of its 10th win in 11 games, Villanova (26-3, 14-2 Big East) set a new school record for victories and handed Marquette (17-12, 9-7) a humbling loss in a game that could have greatly enhanced its NCAA Tournament resume. The first-place Wildcats also received 13 points from Josh Hart in moving one game ahead of Creighton, which has defeated Villanova twice this season, with each team having two games left to play. JayVaughn Pinkston added 11 points and seven rebounds, although Wildcats leading scorer James Bell did not score, missing all three of his shots while battling foul trouble. Deonte Burton scored 13 points to pace the Golden Eagles, who had won five of their last six games. Both teams shot about 40 percent in the first half, but two primary factors contributed to the Wildcats' 36-25 lead at intermission - eight turnovers by the Golden Eagles and Villanova's 15-3 scoring advantage from 3-point range. Hilliard made four of those five 3s and scored 18 first-half points. Ryan Arcidiacono and Hilliard each made a 3-pointer in the opening two minutes of the second half as the Wildcats pushed their advantage to 42-25. Burton's 3-pointer drew the Eagles within 51-38 with 12 minutes to play, but Arcidiacono responded with a jumper and Hart hit a 3-pointer on the next two possessions. GAME NOTEBOOK: Bell, who averages 15.7 points, has scored just 9.3 points on just 30.8 percent shooting over his last four games. ... Marquette's starters combined for 17 points on 5-of-23 shooting. ... Hilliard had a team-high four assists as Villanova assisted on 17 of its 23 field goals.
Villanova 73, Marquette 56
ProSportsDaily | Mar 2