Villanova Wildcats vs. Marquette Golden Eagles Pick & Prediction JANUARY 30th 2024

Marquette plots to continue its surge in the Big East when the Golden Eagles visit Villanova on Tuesday.

The No. 9-ranked Golden Eagles (15-5, 6-3 Big East) defeated Seton Hall 75-57 on Saturday thanks in large part to Oso Ighodaro’s 21 points and seven rebounds. David Joplin scored 20 points and Stevie Mitchell added 13 to go along with six rebounds and five steals.

Marquette also received some unexpected production from its bench as Ben Gold produced nine points, six rebounds and two blocked shots.

“It says a lot about the character of our guys,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “I think Ben Gold deserves a ton of credit the last couple of games, just taking on an expanded role that I’ve felt for a while that he was ready for and he hasn’t blinked.”

Kam Jones played only five minutes but had to come out because of a lingering sprained ankle.

Jones’ status remains unclear for Tuesday.

“We’ll work around the clock to get that ankle back to where it needs to be,” Smart said. “Hopefully he can get back out there for us real soon.”

Tyler Kolek, who had 11 assists to go along with four points, controlled the tempo and didn’t really need to score.

“I didn’t even realize he didn’t score (many points) until the end of the game … because of how much he was impacting the game and we just feel more confident when he’s on the court and facilitating everything,” Mitchell said. “We lean on him. It’s just a testament to him how he didn’t let it bother him and just kept being who he was and leading us.”

Villanova will look to snap a four-game losing streak when it battles the Golden Eagles.

The Wildcats (11-9, 4-5) failed to hold an 11-point lead with 4:45 remaining in regulation and fell 88-81 to Butler in double overtime on Saturday.

Eric Dixon led Villanova with 28 points, TJ Bamba added 14 and Tyler Burton had 13 points and 10 rebounds.

In the end, it wasn’t enough.

After finishing with 17-17 last season, second-year coach Kyle Neptune appeared to have the program moving in the right direction following the retirement of Jay Wright.

The Wildcats now seem to be searching for answers again.

“This is what it takes. This is the season,” Dixon said. “Nothing’s given to you. You’re not just going to wake up and have it happen for you.”

During the losing streak, Villanova has struggled to knock down 3-pointers. While Dixon made 4 of 8 attempts from beyond the arc, the rest of the team went 3-for-15 from beyond the arc.

On Saturday, the Wildcats had a tough time getting defensive stops down the stretch of regulation and especially in the second overtime.

“I thought we came out with the mindset and kept battling,” Neptune said. “It was a tough Big East game. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the result we wanted.”

–Field Level Media

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