Villanova responded to its first loss of the season just about perfectly.
Three days after their program-record 20-game win streak was snapped at Butler, the No. 1 Wildcats cruised to a 93-81 win over Marquette in front of 16,891 fans at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
Kris Jenkins led the way with a season-high 23 points for Villanova (15-1 overall, 3-1 Big East), which shot a blistering 65 percent from the field and 61 percent from three-point range. The Wildcats were shooting over 80 percent in the second half late in the game before head coach Jay Wright went to his bench and the Golden Eagles made the final score look closer than it was.
Markus Howard led Marquette (10-5, 1-2) with 21 points.
Leading by 11 at halftime, Villanova opened the second half with 11 straight points, including three straight three-pointers, to turn the game into a rout.
Big men on campus
Jenkins, who shot 7 for 11 from the field and 6 for 9 from three-point range, was joined by three other ’Nova players in double figures. Fellow star senior Josh Hart had 19 points and seven assists, Jalen Brunson scored 16, and Mikal Bridges finished with 15 points, shooting a perfect 4 for 4 from the field, 3 for 3 from three-point range and 4 for 4 from the foul line.
Aside from Howard, Katin Reinhardt (15 points), Sam Hauser (13 points) and Jajuan Johnson (12 points) hit double figures for Marquette.
By the numbers
• Villanova set a season high with 24 assists.
• Both teams made 15 free throws but Marquette did it on only 17 attempts while Villanova did it on 22 attempts.
• Villanova shot 18 for 26 and Marquette 12 for 32 from inside the three-point arc.
Villanova came roaring out of the gate, making its first six shots and eight of its first nine en route to a 23-13 lead.
The Golden Eagles made some threes to hang around but had a rough end to the half when head coach Steve Wojciechowski erupted at the refs and was whistled for a technical foul and ’Nova scored the next six points to take a 44-33 lead into halftime.
Wojciechowski may have had good reason to be upset. Marquette didn’t get to the foul line until the final minute of the first half. But the Golden Eagles were more hurt by shooting 5 of 15 from inside the three-point arc.
Villanova shot 65 percent in the first half and 60 percent from three-point range.
Villanova is now 14-2 at the Wells Fargo Center since the start of the 2012-13 regular season.
The Wildcats have an all-time record of 47-34 in the building, winning 37 of its last 56 games. Saturday’s game was their first of four there this season.
Villanova has another tough home test, taking on Xavier at the Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Marquette hosts Seton Hall the same night.