for this game

Anderson's layup lifts Villanova past Marquette

Mar 12, 2009 - 10:14 PM By Kevin Pedersen PA SportsTicker Staff Writer

NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Dwayne Anderson's only basket of the game proved to be the most important one.

Anderson's reverse layup at the buzzer gave No. 13 Villanova a thrilling 76-75 victory over 21st-ranked Marquette in the quarterfinals of the Big East tournament on Thursday.

Scottie Reynolds scored 21 points and Corey Stokes had 20 for the Wildcats (26-6), who will play No. 5 Louisville in a semifinal contest on Friday.

"I'd rather be lucky than good, so we will definitely take that," Villanova coach Jay Wright said. "We've been on the other side of this in this tournament and this side feels great."

Villanova, which blew a 16-point halftime lead, chose not to foul while trailing, 75-74, with 40 seconds to play.

It proved to be the right move as Jerel McNeal missed a driving layup with 12 seconds left and Villanova raced down the court with no timeouts.

Reggie Redding wound down the clock before finally slashing across the lane, delivering a perfect back-door bounce pass to Anderson, who rattled in the basket as the final horn went off.

"We have great confidence in Reggie, that is the guy we want with the ball in his hands if not Scottie," Wright said.

"He was trying to make a play, I guess he saw me cutting at the last second," Anderson said. "Game-winning shot."

Jimmy Butler scored 19 points and McNeal had 15 for the Golden Eagles (24-9), who dropped to 1-5 since starting point guard Dominic James was lost for the season with a foot injury.

The Golden Eagles missed 16 of their first 18 shots, settling for numerous 3-pointers or ill-advised driving layups during the early portions of the first half.

Marquette used a steady trip to the foul line to stay relatively close but, behind Reynolds' 18 first-half points and Corey Fisher's coast-to-coast layup at the halftime buzzer, Villanova went into the locker rooms with a comfortable 47-31 advantage.

"I thought we were out of character on both ends of the floor for too much of the first half," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "And then I thought in the second half, we played much more in the way we have to play in order to give ourselves a chance for success."

Lazar Hayward made two of Marquette's three early 3-pointers as the Golden Eagles opened the second half on an 11-2 spurt to come within 49-42 with 16:20 to play.

Marquette cut the deficit to six on three occasions but Stokes answered with a basket each time for Villanova. Stokes' second 3-pointer of the half gave the Wildcats a 67-58 lead with 7:58 left.

However, the Golden Eagles wouldn't go away as McNeal made a 3-pointer and Butler made a pair from the line to cut the deficit to 69-67 with 4:03 remaining.

Maurice Acker knocked down a 3-pointer and Butler made 1-of-2 free throws to level the contest at 72-72 with 2:13 remaining.

After Reynolds scored for Villanova, Hayward connected from straightaway to give Marquette a 75-74 edge with 1:40 to play.

Hayward finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds, while second-leading scorer Wesley Matthews had 11 and 10 on 1-of-10 shooting.

"We just have to learn from it, keep fighting and get this taste out of our mouth now," Matthews said. "Come Selection Sunday, whoever we find out who we're playing against, we gotta make sure we bring that second-half 20 minutes."

Marquette shot 33-of-39 from the free-throw line for the contest.