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February 25, 2008
James leads No. 21 Marquette over Villanova
The Golden Eagles went 10-for-23 from 3-point range; Villanova was only 2-for-15.
The Wildcats had won four of five overall, including a 67-65 victory over then-No. 13 Connecticut on Saturday, that again energized their hopes for a possible NCAA tournament at-large bid. A win over the Golden Eagles would have been a huge boost to their confidence and RPI, especially with a game Saturday at No. 13 Louisville.
Now, Villanova's bid for a fourth straight NCAA tournament appearance is a long shot.
They blew an early second-half lead mostly because of a season-high 23 turnovers. They flopped on some ill-timed bad passes that either sailed out of bounds or were converted into easy baskets by Marquette.
Two costly turnovers came midway through the second half that allowed Marquette to grab a double-digit lead and take control of the game.
David Cubillan stole a pass under the basket - Villanova's 20th turnover - and scored an easy layup. Cunningham was whistled for goaltending on the next possession to help Marquette take a 68-58 lead.
The Wildcats had opened a small lead on a string of tough inside baskets. Reynolds slowly dribbled the ball to halfcourt, saw an opening and streaked through two defenders for an underhand layup. He drew a foul and converted the three-point play for a 52-51 lead.
The Golden Eagles ended the rally in a hurry.
Acker and James hit consecutive 3s and James followed a Villanova basket with another 3-pointer that gave the Golden Eagles a 62-56 lead.
Stokes scored 11 points in the first half to help the Wildcats take a 39-32 lead.