Marquette Golden Eagles vs. Villanova Wildcats Pick & Prediction JANUARY 15th 2024

No. 11 Marquette will hope to recover from a rare home loss when the Golden Eagles host Villanova in a Big East matchup on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee.

The suddenly struggling Golden Eagles (11-5, 2-3 Big East) were upset at home by Butler 69-62 on Wednesday, snapping Marquette’s streak of 20 consecutive home conference wins.

Marquette, which has lost two straight and three of its last five, had not lost a Big East game at home since a 75-69 double-overtime loss to Creighton on Jan. 1, 2022 in coach Shaka Smart’s first season.

The Golden Eagles, ranked as high as No. 3 in late November, have as many conference losses this season as when they won the Big East regular-season title at 17-3 last season.

“I think the first thing is understanding it’s a long season and we’ve played a quarter of our Big East games,” Smart said after the loss to Butler. “We’ve not played as well as we want to play. Obviously, we’ve not gotten the results that we want to get through five games in the Big East. And, at the same time, it’s on us and no one else to respond.”

Marquette also lost backup guard Sean Jones for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ACL against Butler. Another key reserve, guard Chase Ross, injured his shoulder in early January and is not expected to play.

Marquette is led by its backcourt duo of Kam Jones and Tyler Kolek. Kam Jones leads in scoring at 14.9 per game and has a team-high 35 3-pointers. Kolek averages 13.8 points and leads the Big East with 102 assists. Oso Ighodaro adds 13.5 points and a team-best 6.9 boards.

Against Butler, Kam Jones shot just 1-for-10 from beyond the arc and Kolek missed all seven 3-point attempts as the Golden Eagles were just 5-of-31 from deep.

Kolek, the reigning Big East Player of the Year, made just 1 of 13 shots against Butler and is 2-for-19 in the last two games.

Villanova (11-5, 4-1) rolled past DePaul 94-69 on Friday with five players scoring in double figures.

Eric Dixon had 24 points to lead the way for Villanova. Brendan Hausen added 17 points, Mark Armstrong 15, TJ Bamba 10 and Tyler Burton 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Villanova also had routed DePaul 84-48 in the first meeting just before Christmas.

“We had just beat them the first time, so it’s a tough game to come in, and you’ve got to be focused,” Villanova coach Kyle Neptune said. “You’ve got to execute the game plan, and they did everything we asked them to.”

Justin Moore, a preseason all-Big East selection, returned against DePaul after missing five games with a right knee sprain, playing 23 minutes.

Dixon averages a team-high 15.3 points along with 6.5 rebounds. Moore adds 12.3 points and Burton a team-leading 7.7 boards per game.

The Wildcats average 74.3 points per game while allowing 65.1 and outrebound opponents by 4.2 per contest.

Marquette has won the last four matchups with Villanova and six of the last 10. Last season, the Golden Eagles overcame a nine-point second-half deficit for a 68-66 at Villanova, and then won 73-64 at home as Kam Jones and Kolek combined for 38 points.

–Field Level Media

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