Jan. 23, 2014
VILLANOVA, Pa. - After taking time to absorb the lessons of Monday's 96-68 loss to Creighton at the Wells Fargo Center, Villanova was back at work in the Davis Center this week with an eye towards a grueling test of three consecutive road contests that begins Saturday against Marquette (2:00 p.m/Fox Sports 1 and 1210 WPHT Radio).
The Bluejays drained seven consecutive 3-pointers in the game's opening minutes to establish a double-digit lead the No. 4/5 Wildcats (16-2 overall, 5-1 BIG EAST) could never shave back under single digits.
"We had strung together a lot of really good performances," noted Villanova head coach Jay Wright. "Monday night I just thought we put together an average performance. We played a team in Creighton that put together an outstanding performance. I just thought we were a little off and they were great. The result hurt."
The Wildcats watched the tape of Monday night's contest on Wednesday and then shifted their gaze to Marquette (11-8 overall, 3-3 BIG EAST), which is 8-1 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center this season.
Wright was upbeat about the demeanor of his unit even after the defeat Monday in what was a showdown for first place in the BIG EAST.
"I've probably never been a part of a game a game like that (Creighton) where I didn't feel concerned about our team after the game," stated Wright. "We've certainly got beaten like that before, not many times, in our 13 years but after the game you are usually really concerned about the team and the direction it can go.
"We could tell by the attitude during the game that (the guys) were sticking together. They came back with a great attitude on (Tuesday). It's a really unique group that way. It was business as usual even with a new attention to detail. I think everybody took responsibility, including me and the coaching staff. We win together and we lose together. I'm not just saying this - it's a really special group that way."
This is the second of three consecutive weeks of Saturday-Monday contests and the only one that will take Villanova far from home. The stretch began with two home games last week and concludes with a visit to Temple on Feb. 1 followed by a home date with Xavier on Feb. 3. After facing Marquette, the Wildcats will fly from Milwaukee to Washington, D.C. ahead of Monday night's clash at the Verizon Center against Georgetown.
Marquette owns a 20-game BIG EAST winning streak on its home court. The Golden Eagles downed Georgetown on the road on Monday evening.
The Marquette and Villanova men's basketball staffs will join more than 4,000 basketball coaches from across the country as they lace up for the fight against cancer and step out of their loafers, oxfords, and wingtips and into sneakers during games as part of Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers Awareness Weekend, set for January 24-26.
The nationwide event raises awareness about the fight against cancer, highlights the importance of nutrition and physical activity in reducing a person's cancer risk, and promotes the American Cancer Society's free programs and services available to those facing cancer.
The Coaches vs. Cancer program is a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC). The initiative leverages the personal experiences, community leadership and professional excellence of coaches nationwide to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The program seeks to increase cancer awareness and promote healthy living among students, faculty and staff, fans and the community at large.
Since its inception in 1993, the American Cancer Society Coaches vs. Cancer initiative has raised more than $87 million to support the Society's mission.
Follow Villanova Basketball on social media
Twitter: @NovaMBB #NovaMBB