No. 17 Marquette rallies past Villanova, 82-78

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Darius Johnson-Odom scored 26 points to help No. 17 Marquette storm back from an 18-point deficit and beat Villanova 82-78 on Saturday.

Jae Crowder had 20 points and 11 rebounds for Marquette (18-4, 7-2 Big East) and played just as big a role in the second half as Johnson-Odom in helping the Golden Eagles win their sixth straight game.

JayVaughn Pinkston led Villanova (10-12, 3-7) with 17 points. Dominic Cheek scored 13 points, and Maurice Sutton had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Pinkston hit a 3-pointer with 8.6 seconds left to pull Villanova within two but it wasn't enough for the Wildcats, who had 20 turnovers.

Villanova had the lead with 6:15 left when Maalik Wayns was whistled for a technical. Johnson-Odom hit two free throws and Crowder tied it on a driving layup. Johnson-Odum made it 71-69 and put Marquette ahead for good.

The Golden Eagles used a 10-0 run in the second half, capped by Crowder's falling down 3, to tie the game at 55.

Villanova got the lead back to four points until Wayns used profanity after what he thought was a blown call. The official looked straight at him, made the "T" signal and the game changed from there.

There were three technical fouls called overall in the game.

This has been a down season for the Wildcats and their first NIT in eight years appears more likely than another trip to the NCAA tournament. For 20 minutes, however, the Wildcats showed why coach Jay Wright still likes his team and believes a solid foundation is in place for next season.

They opened the game with three straight 3s and James Bell added a fourth for a 21-7 lead. They stretched the lead to 18 and were getting baskets from everyone. Bell, who came in averaging 7.6 points, had 11 at the break. Cheek also scored 11 in the first half, just a tick off his season average

Winning or losing, neither coach was happy.

Wright was whistled for a technical and badgered the refs all half. Marquette coach Buzz Williams was hit with one after Marquette was called for a shooting foul, which allowed the Wildcats to make four straight from the free-throw line and make it a 13-point game.

Throw in the T called against Wayns and it was clear officials were paying attention after they were put on notice this week by John Adams, the national coordinator of men's basketball officiating. He posted a memo stating officials have done a "poor job" dealing with bad sportsmanship "committed by players, substitutes, and bench personnel, including head coaches."

"You should have a very low tolerance for players who use profanity towards officials or who "wave you off" after a call etc.," he wrote. "These types of actions call for technical fouls. Call them! Your coordinators and commissioners will support you."

The Wildcats had no answer for Johnson-Odom, who scored eight straight points and kept the Golden Eagles from letting the game get away from them. He buried a long 3 just before the buzzer to cut Villanova's lead to 46-36 at halftime.

With momentum from that shot, Crowder opened the second half with a 3 and Vander Blue soared to complete an eye-popping alley-oop and make it a five-point deficit -- forcing Wright to call a quick timeout.

That was just the start of the fun for Marquette.

On pace for their worst season under Wright since they went 18-17 in 2003-04, the Wildcats showed the growing pains continue in the Big East.