Matt Carlino sank eight three-point baskets and scored 26 points and ninth-seeded Marquette raced out to an 18-point first-half lead en route to a 78-56 victory over No. 8 Seton Hall on Wednesday night in the opening game of the Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden.

The Golden Eagles (13-18) advanced to play top-seeded Villanova at noon Thursday in a quarterfinal game. The Wildcats defeated Marquette twice during the regular season - 70-52 on Feb. 4 at the Wells Fargo Center and 87-76 on Feb. 21 in Milwaukee.

Carlino suffered a concussion early in the second half of the first Villanova game and sat out the second game while still recovering from the injury.

The Marquette defense held the Pirates (16-15) to 40 percent shooting.

- Inquirer staff