Marquette defeats Villanova; UWM losesPHILADELPHIA (AP) — With the crowd in the NBA arena rocking and rooting against Marquette in a pivotal Big East game,
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — With the crowd in the NBA arena rocking and rooting against Marquette in a pivotal Big East game, coach Tom Crean compared the atmosphere to playing in the Sweet 16.
While the 21st-ranked Golden Eagles know what being in a big game feels like, Crean isn’t ready to say his team is good enough to advance that deep in the NCAA tournament.
‘‘We’re not nearly as good if we start jumping ahead,’’ Crean said.
Jumping all over Villanova on Monday night was good enough.
Dominic James had six steals, hit five 3s and scored 25 points in a stellar all-around effort that led Marquette to an 85-75 victory over the Wildcats.
James had plenty of help in Marquette’s fifth straight win and eighth in the last 10 games.
Lazar Hayward added 15 points and nine rebounds, Jerel McNeal scored 14 points and Maurice Acker had 12 for Marquette (21-6, 11-5 Big East).
Scottie Reynolds led Villanova (17-10, 7-8) with 14 points, while Dante Cunningham and Corey Stokes each scored 13.
The Golden Eagles went 10-for-23 from 3-point range; Villanova was only 2-for-15.
The Wildcats had won four of five overall, including a 67-65 victory over then-No. 13 Connecticut on Saturday, that again energized their hopes for a possible NCAA tournament at-large bid. A win over the Golden Eagles would have been a huge boost to their confidence and RPI, especially with a game Saturday at No. 13 Louisville.
Now, Villanova’s bid for a fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance is a long shot.
Valparaiso 66, UWM 57
MILWAUKEE — Brandon McPherson scored 17 points, Jarryd Lloyd 12 and Shawn Huff 11 as Valparaiso defeated undermanned Wisconsin-Milwaukee 66-57 in a Horizon League game Monday night.
The Crusaders (17-12, 7-9) have won three of their last four games. The Panthers (13-14, 8-8) lost their third consecutive game and sixth of their last seven.
Jason Averkamp, who had scored only 25 points all season, led the Panthers with 21 points and Ricky Franklin had 11.
Milwaukee has only had 10 players since four left the program in December, and against Valparaiso the Panthers had leading rebounder Marcus Skinner and leading scorer Paige Paulsen injured in the opening minutes.
Skinner hurt his lower right leg and left one minute into the game. He never returned.