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A quirk in the schedule has given Villanova a chance to beat Marquette twice in one week. A victory over the Golden Eagles , though, might be tougher to come by this time around.
The sixth-ranked Wildcats try to stay unbeaten in Big East play and run their winning streak at The Pavilion to 35 when they play a rejuvenated Marquette team Saturday.
Villanova (13-1, 2-0) escaped with a 74-72 road victory over the Golden Eagles (10-5, 1-2) last Saturday. Scottie Reynolds scored 16 of his 23 points in the second half and made the go-ahead basket with 18.1 seconds to play, while freshman guard Maalik Wayns had a then-season high 16 points off the bench.
The Wildcats built momentum ahead of this rematch by routing DePaul 99-72 on Wednesday. Reynolds scored 21 points and Wayns set a season best with 18 as Villanova opened on a 15-3 run en route to its fourth straight victory.
" Maalik Wayns was great off the bench again but I was really proud of Scottie Reynolds and Reggie Redding , as leaders, getting us ready to play," coach Jay Wright said. "We came off that game against Marquette which was psychologically draining, in a good way. These guys are great in the backcourt and our depth was really the difference."
Villanova has averaged 91.5 points while shooting 52.2 percent during its winning streak. Wayns, averaging 13.3 points during the streak and 8.0 overall, leads a strong group of reserves that has contributed 31.3 points per game over that stretch.
After losing its first two Big East games - both to top 10 opponents - by a combined three points, Marquette finally broke through with a 62-59 victory over No. 12 Georgetown on Wednesday. David Cubillan went 6 for 6 from 3-point range and finished with 18 points, and the Golden Eagles made 12 3s to improve to 1-4 in games decided by four points or less.
Lazar Hayward added 12 points and 11 rebounds and Jimmy Butler made two key free throws late for Marquette. The Golden Eagles were plagued by missed foul shots late in the loss to the Wildcats and in a 63-62 defeat at then-No. 6 West Virginia on Dec. 29.
"Our composure has increased and gotten better,'' coach Buzz Williams said. ''I didn't think at West Virginia that we had great composure down the stretch. Don't know if it was bad, but more it was timid than aggressive.''
Cubillan is averaging 7.0 points but shooting 48 percent from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles have four players shooting 41 percent or better from beyond the arc - including Darius Johnson-Odom at 54.2 percent with a team-high 32 made - and are second in the Big East at 41.7 percent.
Villanova has won both games between the teams at The Pavilion since Marquette joined the Big East in 2005, the most recent a 102-84 victory Feb. 10. Reynolds had 27 points and Corey Fisher added 21 off the bench as the Wildcats shot 58.7 percent.
Hayward, averaging team highs of 18.5 points and 7.5 rebounds, had 17 and 14 last Saturday.