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Samuels’ career night delays Marquette’s BIG EAST title aspirations

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Samuels’ career night delays Marquette’s BIG EAST title aspirations

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics

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Villanova sophomore Jermaine Samuels has only scored more than 15 points once in his career.

Unfortunately for Marquette’s BIG EAST regular-season title odds, that one time came Wednesday night, as Samuels’ 29-point performance downed the Golden Eagles at Finneran Pavilion 67-61.

Samuels hit a new career high in scoring following 53-percent shooting from the field and 38-percent shooting from 3-point range.

It was a stark contrast from his usual numbers, as he entered play shooting 48 percent from the field but only 30 percent from the perimeter.

Marquette neutralized Villanova stars Phil Booth and Eric Paschall, who combined to shoot 5 for 27, but the Golden Eagles did not have any answers for Samuels.

Aside from Samuels, no other Wildcat had more than three field goals.

Junior guard Markus Howard countered Samuels’ high-octane scoring with a 25-point night, but foul trouble and turnovers doomed Howard down the stretch. The 5-foot-11 guard finished with seven turnovers and four fouls.

He also injured his hand in the final minute, causing him to have a rare miss from the free-throw line with 29 seconds left. The free throw would’ve cut Villanova’s deficit to three points.

Junior forward Sam Hauser was the only other Golden Eagle to score more than eight points in the loss.

Post players Theo John and Ed Morrow finished the game with four fouls, limiting Marquette’s options in the paint.

Head coach Steve Wojciechowski’s squad also committed 18 turnovers, compared to only 12 assists, while coming up flat offensively for extended stretches of the game.

Marquette still had a chance in the final minute, but Villanova ended the game on a 12-1 run to remove any doubt.

The Golden Eagles missed its last eight field goals and scored exclusively from the free-throw line for the last five minutes of the game.

Marquette has not won at Villanova since 2012, when then-No. 17 Marquette beat Villanova 82-78.

With the loss, Marquette’s path to a BIG EAST regular season title is significantly harder. MU’s lead over Villanova in the conference standings is down to a half-game, and Villanova owns the current tiebreaker based on results against third-place St. John’s.

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About the Writer
John Steppe, Executive Sports Editor

John Steppe is the executive sports editor for the Marquette Wire. He is a junior majoring in journalism and double-minoring in digital media and Spanish....

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