Wildcats Fall to Big East Leader Marquette


Courtesy of Villanova Athletics

Alex Louin looks off Marquette defender 

Nick France

The Wildcats looked to carry momentum from an 84-58 win over DePaul into Sunday’s game against the Big East leading Marquette Golden Eagles. However, the Wildcats could only muster a 39.3 percent FG pertentage against the Golden Eagles’ tough defense in a 67-57 loss. This marks the second year in a row in which Marquette has defeated Villanova. 

The game began close, with the teams both coming out of the locker rooms shooting well, as Villanova began the game with a 10-9 lead. However, as the Golden Eagle defense tightened up, the Wildcat offense also dried up. By the end of the first quarter, Marquette held a 22-15 lead, with many of their points coming in the paint. The Wildcats would fail to retake the lead for the rest of the game.

In the second quarter, the Wildcats defense improved. The stout defense forced Marquette to go only 4-15 shooting the ball in the 2nd, for only 12 points. However, the Villanova offense continued to struggle, also shooting only 4 of 15, including 1of 8 from deep. In addition, eight first half turnovers prevented the Wildcats from retaking the lead, with the teams heading back to the locker rooms with a 34-29 game in favor of Marquette.

 The Wildcats never took the lead during the 2nd half, as their offense struggled to move the ball, stalled by the Golden Eagles’ press defense. Villanova’s offense, who utilized the three point shot very well in their win against DePaul, could only make 5 of their 23 attempts from beyond the arc during their contest against Marquette. The team’s scoring leaders, Adrianna Hahn and Kelly Jekot, failed to score . The duo only managed to put up a combined six points on 3 of their 13 shots. Picking up the slack, Alex Louin and Mary Gedaka both put up 11 points.

This loss brings Villanova’s Big East record to 5-4, good for third in the conference. Marquette, meanwhile, is off to an 8-1 start in the Big East. The win helped them retain their spot at the top of the conference. It will certainly be hard for the Wildcats to come back and take the Big East regular season title. Doing so would require both Marquette and DePaul to drop three or four games in conference with only nine games remaining. With both Marquette and DePaul playing very well, this is unlikely. However, on the good side of things, Villanova’s 15-5 overall record still remains the best in the Big East, and shows the team has enough talent to contend in the Big East tournament.

The Wildcats will look to rebound this Friday at 7 p.m. against the 9-10 Xavier Musketeers. The team will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Musketeers, who are 2-6 in conference play and ranked ninth in the Big East.