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No. 6 Villanova tops Marquette, stays unbeaten in Big East

Daniel Ochefu, Sandy Cohen III, Luke Fischer

Villanova forward Daniel Ochefu (23) grabs a rebound from Marquette forward Sandy Cohen III (5) and center Luke Fischer (40) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2016, in Villanova, Pa. (AP Photo/Laurence Kesterson)


VILLANOVA, Pa. (AP) Kris Jenkins scored 20 points and Jalen Brunson had 14 to lead No. 6 Villanova to an 83-68 win over Marquette on Wednesday night.

The Wildcats (15-2, 5-0 Big East) blew a 16-point lead and trailed early in the second half until they took control late in game to for the 36th straight time at the Pavilion.

Daniel Ochefu grabbed 13 rebounds and the Wildcats hit eight 3-pointers to win their seventh straight game.

Haanif Cheatham led Marquette (12-5, 2-3) with 17 points.

The Golden Eagles trailed by one with 12:38 left in the game before the Wildcats blew the game open. The Golden Eagles missed 10 straight shots and went more than 8 minutes without a field goal.

Marquette had won two straight games, including a 65-64 victory last week over then-No. 8 Providence. The Golden Eagles stormed back from an awful start and led by one at halftime.

Luke Fischer’s dunk with 12:38 left pulled Marquette to 50-49. The one-point game turned into a 19-point lead for Villanova in about 8 minutes.

The Wildcats tightened up defensively, dumped the ball inside and sank a steady stream of free throws to brush off their latest threat.

Marquette missed 10 straight shots over 8 minutes until Duane Wilson and Sandy Cohen buried consecutive 3s. By then, the damage was done and the Wildcats extended their domination in the series.

Villanova opened the game like it was going to blow out the Golden Eagles.

Jenkins and Brunson each hit two 3-pointers in the first 3:30 of the game and the Wildcats raced to a 23-7 lead before the first half reached the midpoint mark.

Marquette, playing better after losing its first two Big East games, refused to fold just yet. The Golden Eagles waited out Villanova’s hot streak and went on one of their own, making five straight baskets that sliced the deficit to single digits.

Traci Carter tied the game at 29-all with a 3 and Henry Ellenson was left alone to dash toward the basket and score off a rebound with 1 second left that put Marquette ahead 38-37 at the break.


Marquette: Chicago Bulls Jimmy Butler, a former Marquette star, and Joakim Noah attended the game. The Bulls play the 76ers on Thursday. ... Carter, a Philly native, had nearly 40 friends and family at the game. He was ejected late in the game. ... Guard Jajuan Johnson sat out iwth a neck injury suffered during the St. John’s game.

Villanova: The Wildcats held a moment of silence for former Butler star Andrew Smith. Smith died Tuesday after a two-year battle with cancer. ... Ocheful left midway through the second half after a hard fall and held his right hip/lower back area as he walked off the court.


Villanova: plays Saturday at Georgetown.

Marquette: is home Saturday against No. 7 Xavier.