Nova Out Of Big East

 

By Mackenzie Kraemer, Palestra.net (New York, NY) Villanova dropped its fifth in their last eight games losing to Marquette Thursday afternoon 80-76 in the Big East Tournament quarterfinals. Lazar Hayward continued his success against Villanova, pouring in 20 points including a three-pointer with 1:51 to go and the clinching free throws with 3.2 seconds left. Darius Johnson-Odom led the Golden Eagles with 24 points. Outside shooting killed the Wildcats, as Marquette shot 11-18 from three in the game, including a perfect 6 for 6 in the second half. Villanova was led by Corey Stokes, who tied his career-high with 22 points on 8 of 9 shooting. As a whole Villanova shot 54% from the field and outrebounded Marquette by 5, but it wasn’t enough. “We gave all the credit in the world to Marquette,” said Villanova coach Jay Wright. “They just continued to answer every play, every situation, every little adjustment we made.” “There’s no shame in losing when you’re going up against a team like Marquette,” said Scottie Reynolds. Villanova had four days off after their home loss to West Virginia to prepare for this game and try to break the losing streak, but Marquette was simply too good. “I don’t think we played that poorly,” said Wright. “I think we played two very good teams.” The Wildcats have been ranked in the top 10 in every poll this season, but heading into the tournament, Villanova would be lucky to receive a #3 seed after their late season swoon. Reynolds, who needed 60 points to set the all-time Villanova scoring record, will need a deep run in the NCAA tournament now for him to set that record. He scored 10 points today, so he now will need 49 points in the NCAA tournament to tie Kerry Kittles and 50 to set the record. But that’s the furthest thing from both the team and Reynolds’s minds right now, as they have run out of time. Now, any game could be their last game. Wright has stressed how much he feels this team needs more practice. With the loss today, he now has a full week to get the team turned back around. “I would like us to be better at this point in the season,” he said. “But we are where we are. I’m not disappointed. I’m just trying to be realistic.” Unfortunately, his expectations and the fans’ expectations don’t seem to match right now.