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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Golden Eagles upset Wildcats

NEW YORK — Marquette overcame a late Wildcats charge to defeat the No. 4 seed, 80-76, and advance to the semi-finals for the second time in school history. Marquette’s last appearance came in 2008, when they fell to Pittsburgh 68-61.

Since last season’s Big East Tournament, Villanova has been beaten Marquette by a combined five points in three contests.

Lazar Hayward buried an NBA range 3-pointer with 1:51 left to give the Golden Eagles the lead for good. He then hit the clinching free throws with in the final seconds left to seal the victory.

After struggling earlier in the season in close games, Marquette found a formula for winning games decided by four points or less. The Golden Eagles have now won seven of their last eight such games.

“We’re all calm because we do that every single day,” Hayward said. “And when those things happen, we’re able to say ok, we’ve been here before. We know what we’re supposed to do.”

Darius Johnson-Odom led the way for the Golden Eagles with 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range and a career-high 24 points. Yesterday, Johnson-Odom felt he was too passive on both ends of the court. Today, he attacked much more against the talented guards of Villanova.

“I think he’s really hard to guard, and I think he does a great job of forcing help,” Williams said of Johnson-Odom.

Marquette seemed to be on its way to an easy victory, after Johnson-Odom buried a three with 4:54 to play for a 65-57 lead. But Villanova began using a full court press which led to three straight Golden Eagle turnovers, and allowed the Wildcats to tie it at 65 with 3:34 to play.

After Hayward broke the tie to give Marquette a three point advantage, the Golden Eagles knocked down 7-of-8 free throws the rest of the way to cap the victory.

Marquette was perfect from 3-point land in the second half, converting on all six attempts. The Golden Eagles shot an impressive 65 percent in the second half.

Hayward has now scored in double-figures in each Big East Tournament game, finishing with 20 points and seven rebounds against Villanova

Corey Stokes recorded 22 points for the Wildcats, who have lost five of six down the stretch.

Marquette will face the Georgetown Hoyas, who defeated top seeded Syracuse earlier in the afternoon. The game is Friday night at 6 p.m. Marquette knocked off the Hoyas, 62-59, on Jan. 6.

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