Hayward, No. 16 Golden Eagles down Wildcats
Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – Lazar Hayward scored a career-high 18 points,
and the 16th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles topped the Villanova Wildcats,
Dominic James also scored 18 points for Marquette (22-7, 9-5 Big East),
which rebounded nicely from an agonizing last-second loss to Louisville on
Saturday, and snapped a three-game losing streak with the win. Wesley Matthews
scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds for Marquette, and Jerel McNeal
finished with 15 points and seven boards.
Scottie Reynolds scored 25 points for Villanova (18-9, 6-7), which has now
lost two straight after a four-game winning streak. Curtis Sumpter scored 14
points, and Mike Nardi added 10 points for the Wildcats.
A Nardi three pulled ‘Nova to within 68-62 with 2:43 left, but the Wildcats
could not cut any further into the Marquette lead. Marquette outscored ‘Nova
12-5 down the stretch to seal the much-needed win.
“That was a tough Big East road game,” said Villanova head coach Jay Wright.
“They made a big run at the end of the first half and got themselves back in
it. They hit their free throws and there was no doubt in my mind they would
come hungry after losing a few in a row. We just couldn’t match them
With the game seemingly headed for another down-to-the-wire finish, Marquette
took control with a 12-3 stretch midway through the second half. A Will
Sheridan jumper for ‘Nova tied the game at 41 with 15:51 left, but Marquette
responded with a run to pull away. A James three and a Hayward layup closed
the stretch, pushing the Marquette lead to 53-44 with 10:16 left.
Reynolds led the ‘Nova offense in the first half, netting 16 points before the
break, and the freshman guard led a surge midway through the half that vaulted
the Wildcats to a nine-point lead. Trailing 12-10, Reynolds drilled back-to-
back threes, followed by a Dante Cunningham layup, then Reynolds came back to
hit another three followed by a two-point jumper. All told, Reynolds scored 11
points on a 13-2 Wildcats surge, and ‘Nova led 23-14 with 10:55 left.
Hayward led the Golden Eagles back, though, and his 13 first-half points
helped Marquette erase the early deficit. The Golden Eagles outscored ‘Nova
19-10 down the stretch, and knotted the game at 33 by the intermission.
“Coach always tells me the good thing for me is to keep a lot of movement, and
I think I progressed that very well today,” said Hayward.
Marquette, which made only 64 percent of its free throws entering the game,
made 31-of-35 (89 percent), led by Matthews, who made 12-of-12…’Nova’s 18
turnovers were one short of its season high of 19.