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The What Else Did You Expect: #5 Villanova A Lot, Marquette A Lot Less

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We’re starting this bad boy with five minutes to go in the game.

Villanova v Seton Hall
JRE was a monster against Marquette.
Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images

Shortly after I opened this doc in the editing side of Anonymous Eagle, the FS1 broadcast of tonight’s Marquette men’s basketball game against #5 Villanova threw me a bone. I had already decided the game was long since over, so it was time to get a head start on the recap.

As I typed out the headline, FS1 popped up this note on the score bug graphic at the bottom of the screen:

21-7 run for Villanova.

Oh? Really? That small of a run for Nova, huh?

This was a five point game with 30 seconds left in the first half. Villanova hit a three at the horn to make it eight, their largest lead of the game to that point. It was all Wildcats after the break, quite literally. Villanova scored the first five points of the second half, prompting a “WE JUST SPENT ALL THAT TIME TALKING IN THE LOCKER ROOM DURING HALFTIME, WAS NO ONE LISTENING?” timeout from Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski. The lead broke 15 on a three by Justin Moore with 15:46 to go, went down to just nine on an and-1 by Dawson Garcia with 11:33 to go, and then cracked 20 when Caleb Daniels hit a three with 6:27 to play.

Sure, Villanova’s the #5 team in the country, and sure, Marquette hasn’t beaten Villanova on the road since 2012, and sure, Marquette has never won in Finneran Pavilion, and sure, I didn’t think Marquette had a chance of winning this game.

But I didn’t really think that Marquette would play the Wildcats close for 20 minutes and then let Villanova dance on their heads for the next 20 minutes. Lose by double digits? Sure, that’s what Vegas said. Get outscored by [looks up at the TV] holy shit, it’s 90-59? That’s a 50-27 second half, 53-27 if you include that last second triple in the first half.

Yeah, I didn’t think that was going to happen.

Almost done now. Dawson Garcia’s having a good game. Most of that is because he has more field goal attempts in this game than he had in the last two games combined, so it’s fun to see that the coaching staff remembered that they have a McDonald’s All-American on the roster.

Under a minute to go.

Where was I? Oh, right Garcia. Game’s over now, so I can tell you 1) Marquette lost, 96-64, and 2) Garcia finished with a game high 28 points on 9-for-15 shooting along with six rebounds. He was really something else, and it was absolutely for naught, which is sad.

Villanova went ballistic in the second half, literally. 70% shooting from the field, 67% from long range, perfect from the stripe. That’s an effective field goal percentage of 86.7% in the final 20 minutes. That is bad defense, even by Marquette’s standards.

Anyway, that’s over now, so we move on with Marquette dropping to 9-11 on the year and 5-9 in the Big East. They will have to go 1-4 or better down the stretch to finish .500 or better in the league.

What’s next? Another road game, because the luck of the draw says that’s how things go and it is [shuffles papers] Seton Hall! That will be on Sunday, and I don’t think that there will be any valentines exchanged. Marquette lost 70-63 at home to the Pirates way back in December, and SHU will be coming in off of wins over Providence and Connecticut as well as over a week’s worth of rest.