Tyler Kolek’s career game carries No. 9 Marquette over Villanova

Senior Tyler Kolek scored a career-high 32 points to go along with nine assists, six rebounds and three steals to lift No. 9 Marquette past host Villanova 85-80 on Tuesday.

Oso Ighodaro added 15 points, Stevie Mitchell and David Joplin scored 12 each while Chase Ross chipped in with 11 as the Golden Eagles (16-5, 7-3 Big East) won their fifth game in a row.

Eric Dixon and TJ Bamba put up 24 points apiece and Mark Armstrong had 16 for the Wildcats (11-10, 4-6), who have lost five straight.

Dixon’s deep 3-pointer with 38 seconds left closed Villanova within 81-78.

Kolek then made 5 of 6 free throws to seal the victory.

Marquette led 67-58 with 7:27 left in the second half after Ighodaro threw down a dunk off Kolek’s alley-oop pass.

Dixon made a 3-pointer and then hit four straight free throws, capping a 9-0 run that closed Villanova within 72-69 with 4:35 left.

Marquette jumped out to leads of 11-0 and 15-2, then went up 23-6 when Kolek dropped in a 3-pointer with 11:38 remaining in the first half.

Villanova looked out of sync on offense, missing 12 of its first 17 shots, and trailed 30-11 with 7:40 left.

Ben Gold hit a 3-pointer from the corner with 5:00 remaining and the Golden Eagles led 37-17.

Villanova responded with a 11-0 run capped by Armstrong’s layup with 1:45 to go, cutting the deficit to nine.

The Golden Eagles held a 39-31 advantage at halftime thanks in large part to Kolek’s 13 points. Bamba paced the Wildcats with 12 over the first 20 minutes.

After Villanova cut the deficit to 41-37, Mitchell came back with a three-point play and Joplin hit a 3-pointer as Marquette’s lead extended to 10 with 18:10 left.

The Wildcats then went on a 14-0 spurt. A Dixon layup with 15:11 to go put Villanova on top, and Burton followed with a 3-pointer for a 51-47 lead with 13:11 to play.

Kolek subsequently hit consecutive 3-pointers to cap a 9-0 run that put Marquette up 56-51 with 11:07 left.