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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUBB-Villanova takeaways: Golden Eagle stars need to perform, paint points are crucial, Lowery is a spark

Photo by Forster Goodrich
Zaide Lowery scored two important 3-pointers in Marquette’s 87-74 win over Villanova.

Oso Ighodaro started Marquette men’s basketball’s game against Villanova by catching a pass from Tyler Kolek and slamming the ball down for an alley-oop. He and Kolek did that same play two more times in the first three minutes.

Those three dunks set the tone for what turned into an 87-74 No. 17 Golden Eagles win over the Wildcats Monday afternoon.

Here’s three takeaways from the victory:

Marquette’s stars have to step up 

There were a lot of doubts about what the Golden Eagles would be able to do without Chase Ross and Sean Jones — their two biggest sparks off the bench. Especially considering Kolek had shot a combined 1-for-19 in his last two games and Kam Jones had also been shooting off the mark since the start of conference play.

But the Golden Eagles’ big three of Jones, Kolek and Ighodaro combined for 61 points and all made important, timely baskets.

“It’s no secret that they’re three of our main guys that we need,” junior guard Stevie Mitchell said.

Jones scored a game-high 22 points on 10-for-12 shooting. Kolek earned a double-double of 21 points and 11 assists. Ighodaro scored 18 points, also grabbing seven rebounds and dishing five assists. They were the only Marquette players to score double-digits.

Paint points are key

The Golden Eagles finished Monday’s game with a season-most 60 points in the paint, and having scored 75% of their 2-point attempts.

And because Marquette shot a lackluster 27.3% from deep in its first five Big East games — and went only 30.4% on threes against Villanova — getting to the rim was hugely important.

“They scored at the rim at an alarming rate,” Wildcats head coach Kyle Neptune said.

The Golden Eagles attempted only 23 3-pointers, meaning 40 of their 63 attempts came from within the arc.

“We didn’t shoot as many threes as Villanova,” Smart said. “But I thought the guys understand, ‘hey, we can drive, we can get in the paint, let’s continue to do that.'”

Lowery is a spark

First-year guard Zaide Lowery is one of the Golden Eagles that will be given more minutes due to the injuries, something he was well aware of.

Lowery came into the game partway through the first half and scored two major 3-pointers to erase Marquette’s deficit and spark a 12-0 run.

“I’m really happy for him. And it (3-pointers) really came on time for our team,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said.

This article was written by Sophia Woods. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @SophiaWoodsMU. 

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About the Contributors
Sophia Woods
Sophia Woods, Assistant Sports Editor
Sophia Woods is a first-year student from Plainfield, Illinois studying business management and journalism, serving as an Assistant Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 year. She has experience in writing sports and feature articles. Outside of writing, Sophia enjoys snowmobiling, spending time with family and playing tennis.
Forster Goodrich
Forster Goodrich, Staff Photographer
Forster Goodrich is a sophomore from Lyme, New Hampshire studying digital media. Forster works on the photography desk as a Staff Photographer. Outside of the Wire, he is on the club waterski team, and enjoys everything outdoors. He is looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and getting to photograph games at Fiserv Forum.

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