The 'Cats began rather slowly, as the Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 14-13 lead. The two teams stayed close throughout much of the first half, but Nova went on a 12-0 with about five minutes left to go up 14. The Wildcats would use this run to really fuel the win.
In the second half, defense was purely optional for both teams, as the two squads scored a combined 86 points. Marquette cut into the Wildcat lead late in the half, getting as close as nine points late, but in the end there was too much Villanova as Jay Wright and Co. held on for the victory.
For both teams, the name of the game was balance offensively. Nine different players finished with double digit point totals, and JaJuan Johnson was the only person who reached the 20-point plateau.
With the result, the Wildcats improve to 25-2 on the season and the Golden Eagles fall to 11-15. Next up for Villanova is a Tuesday home game against the Providence Friars. Meanwhile, the next test for Marquette is Wednesday road game against No. 18 Butler.
Here are three things to take away from today's game.
Impressive Marquette Effort
To begin with, Marquette was already a significant underdog in this game no matter who the Golden Eagles threw out on the court. That's what will happen when you're in the middle of a rough season and Villanova is one of the hottest teams nationally. On top of that, Marquette is not a deep team to begin with, and that depth took a hit with Matt Carlino not being available for this game. As a result, the Coach Woj only went seven deep, and those seven played pretty well as a unit. Especially against a pretty intense Nova defense, it would've been easy for Marquette to fold up and give in early, but the Golden Eagles played tough and kept battling, and at this point, that's all Woj can ask for out of his team.
O-Chefu Where Art Thou?
There haven't been many players throughout college basketball that have been more improved offensively than Daniel Ochefu, but he was nonexistent offensively in this one. Maybe it was a lack of shot attempts (only had one official shot attempt on the game) but that cannot continue to happen in many games going forward. It won't be too big of a talking point after this game, because of how many points Nova put up, but going forward, the big man inside needs as many touches and as many buckets as possible, because it opens up everything else offensively.
It's Raining Threes
Another conference game, and another impressive shooting performance from Villanova from beyond the arc. The 'Cats shot 11-21 from 3-point range in this one, and to point out the obvious, you're not going to lose many games when that's the final tally from long range. The question is, can Villanova survive the rest of the season relying on the long ball? It'll be interesting to see if the Wildcats can continue this hot shooting from 3-point range the rest of the season.