As Al Severance’s school record 413 wins edges closer and closer, Jay Wright continued adding to his legacy on Saturday evening, picking up his 400th career victory at ‘Nova in the Wildcats’ 100-90 victory over the Marquette Golden Eagles.
The Wildcats led wire-to-wire, despite Marquette’s best efforts to remain in the game. The Golden Eagles cut the lead to seven with two minutes to go, but Villanova is just too powerful.
It was a prototypical Villanova win. Six players scored in double figures. Jalen Brunson flirted with a double-double with 27 points and eight assists. Eric Paschall, who had two three-pointers all season coming into the game, hit three in the first half. Mikal Bridges was a menace on both sides of the ball with 18 points, seven rebounds, and tenacious defense. Donte DiVincenzo tacked on 14, Phil Booth had 10, and Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree had a career-high 10 points, all in the first half.
The reason Villanova is so tough to play against is this very thing: they’re so tough on both sides of the ball and have so many different players that can do different things to beat you.
To Marquette’s credit, they did all they could. Markus Howard followed up his 52-point outburst with 37, Sacar Anim had 14, Sam Hauser, and Greg Elliott each put up 13, Andrew Rowsey had an uncharacteristically bad game with just six points on 2-12 shooting.
The Wildcats turned nine Marquette turnovers into 15 points and held a 38-32 advantage in points in the paint, which were the two biggest difference makers in the game.
Villanova improves to 13-0 following a loss since 2013, which speaks volumes to Wright’s coaching and preparing in such games.
Marquette falls to 11-5 and 2-2 in conference play. They’ll return home and host Seton Hall Tuesday night. Villanova improves to 14-1 and 2-1 in Big East play. They’ll host Xavier on Wednesday night.