PHILADELPHIA – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – Villanova closed the game with a 12-1 run over the last five minutes to defeat No. 10 Marquette 67-61 at Finneran Pavilion. The win ended the Wildcats’ first three-game losing streak in six years and moved the reigning national champions (21-8, 12-4) to within a half-game of the first place Golden Eagles (23-5, 12-3).
Wildcat forward Jermaine Samuels, who entered the game with a 4.4 scoring average, poured in a game-high 29 points. With 15 points at halftime, he already had notched his career scoring high. Phil Booth added 17 points, seven assists and five rebounds. Markus Howard scored 25 points for Marquette and became the 44th player in BIG EAST history to reach 1,000 points in league regular-season play. He has 1,003 points.
Georgetown used a 26-point effort from Jessie Govan to help defeat visiting DePaul 82-73. Govan also grabbed six rebounds. The backcourt of Mac McClung and James Akinjo was productive, combining for 28 points and eight assists. Max Strus led DePaul (13-13, 5-10) with 25 points and Paul Reed posted his fifth double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. Georgetown (17-11, 7-8) hosts Seton Hall (16-11, 7-8) on Saturday.
The Thursday slate has only one game – Xavier at St. John’s at 6:30 p.m. ET on FS1 at Carnesecca Arena. The Musketeers (15-13, 7-8) are riding a four-game winning streak after Sunday’s win against Villanova. St. John’s (20-8, 8-7) has third place to itself. A Xavier win would give both teams 8-8 BIG EAST records. Xavier has won the last seven games in the series. The Johnnies have won four of their last six games.
The BIG EAST remains the only D-I conference that does not have a team with a losing overall record.
Home teams are 44-32 (.579) in league games. Thirty-two of the 76 conference contests (.421) have been decided by six points or less or gone into overtime.