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Nova Cruises by Marquette in Quarterfinals of Big East Tournament

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Villanova would not have a repeat of their first Big East Tournament game from a year ago when they were upset by Seton Hall, as they stormed by Marquette 84-49 in the Big East quarterfinals. Josh Hart was unstoppable for the Wildcats as he went on his own 11-0 run late in the first half to take the life out of an early contest.

Hart finished with 20 pts on 7-10 and 5-7 from three. He made his first 6 buckets and 5 three pointers and brought fury into the eyes Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski who had no answers for him. Elsewhere for the ‘Cats, Darrun Hilliard had a strong game with 13 points on 5-11. But the story of the game was Villanova’s ability to knock down the three. They tied a tourmanet record with 17 made 3’s, while Marquette was only able to convert on 5 of their 18 shots from deep. In all, nine different Wildcats scored and connected from three. Dylan Ennis finished with 12 on 3-6 from deep.

Marquette shot themselves in the foot as they committed 22 turnovers and shot just 39 percent overall. In fact, as a team, only two players shot 50 percent or better, Luke Fischer was 4-5 for 10 points and Derrick Wilson was 4-8 for a team-high 11 points. Matt Carlino finished with just 5 points on 2-11. Nova coach Jay Wright said, “We did a fantastic job on him, he is one of the quickest shooters.”

Nova will take on the winner of quarterfinal #2, St. John’s and Providence. It is the Wildcats first trip to the Semifinals since 2009.

Scott Zolotorow