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Marquette overcomes slow start, edges Villanova

Jan 29, 2012 - 1:13 AM Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Darius Johnson-Odom scored a game-high 26 points and added six rebounds as No. 17 Marquette came back from 18 down to defeat Villanova, 82-78, at Wells Fargo Center.

Jae Crowder had 20 points and 11 boards, and Jamil Wilson chipped in 12 points as Marquette (18-4, 7-2 Big East) won its sixth straight game.

JayVaughn Pinkston led the way for the Wildcats with 17 points and five rebounds. Maurice Sutton added 11 points and 10 boards, but it wasn't enough as Villanova (10-12, 3-7 Big East) dropped its second straight game.

Marquette trailed by as many as 18 in this contest but the tide turned late in the second as Maalik Wayns picked up a technical, his fourth personal, for arguing with an official.

Marquette picked up four quick points in an 8-0 run after the technical as it took a 73-69 lead with 4:45 remaining.

Villanova was able to pick up a big steal with 45 seconds to go, down 76-73, but a Dominic Cheek three-pointer missed everything and the Wildcats were forced to foul.

After two made free throws from Crowder, Pinkston hit a three to cut the lead to 80-78 with 8.6 to play.

However, Marquette finished the game going six for six from the line in the final seconds to hold off Villanova for the comeback win.

"We couldn't get stops, We got locked into a half-court game," said Villanova coach Jay Wright about his team's second-half collapse. "They are better than us at small ball."

The Wildcats started hot from three as Cheek knocked down a triple and Pinkston followed with a dunk to extend the Villanova lead to 28-10 with 10:08 left until halftime.

Johnson-Odom got it going late in the first half, scoring his team's last bucket of the half by hitting a big three to put his team down 46-36 going into intermission.

"I thought Villanova had an excellent first half. I thought our guys were able to hang in there," said Marquette coach Buzz Williams.

Johnson-Odom picked up where he left off to start the second half, knocking down a three and picking up an assist on an alley-oop to Vander Blue as Marquette found itself down 46-41 just 1:30 into the second half.

Game Notes

Marquette will host Seton Hall on Tuesday, while Villanova travels to Pittsburgh next Sunday...Cheek had 16 points and five rebounds...Villanova had five players in double figures...Wright and Williams both received technicals in the first half for arguing.