Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball team wrapped up their 5 game, season-long, home-stand with a pair of easy victories against Centenary on Saturday afternoon and Mississippi Valley State on Tuesday evening at The Bradley Center.
Marquette defeated the winless Centenary Gents 81-53 and were led by Jimmy Butler’s fifth career double-double that included 10 points and 12 rebounds. Also seeing extensive playing time was sophomore forward Erik Williams who contributed 7 points and 10 rebounds in place of Joe Fulce (knee) and Davante Gardner (shoulder). Jamail Jones provided a spark for the Golden Eagles off the bench in 11 minutes of action as the freshman tallied 11 points while making 3-4 from beyond the arc. Marquette out-rebounded Centenary 51-29, which contributed to Marquette being able to jump out of the gates quick, scoring the first 8 points of the game and never looking back. Centenary’s poor shooting from both the floor (37%) and the free-throw line (34.8%) made it extremely difficult for the Gents to compete with Marquette's high tempo offense and dynamic scoring lineup thanks to four Marquette Golden Eagles (Butler, Jones, Darius Johnson-Odom, and Vander Blue) scoring in double figures.
Jae Crowder’s career high 22 points paced Marquette as the Golden Eagles defeated assistant coach Scott Monarch’s alma mater Mississippi Valley State with a 102-77 victory. Late in the first half, Crowder scored 12 straight points for the Golden Eagles and found his shooting sweet spot from the top of the arc where he drained a trio of 3-pointers on the night. Marquette shot 50% from the field in the win and put up some good numbers offensively, evenly distributing the ball for a final point total of 102, which is the highest recorded by a Buzz Williams coached team since beating Chicago State 106-87 on November 17, 2008. Dwight Buycks, Blue, and Johnson-Odom all finished with at least 5 assists in the game as they filled in at point guard because both Reggie Smith and Junior Cadougan fell ill before the game. Mississippi Valley State turned the ball over 17 times and Marquette was able to capitalize with a 27-10 points off turnovers advantage.
Marquette (9-3) will play one last non-conference game at Vanderbilt on December 29th before returning home to The Bradley Center to begin Big East competition bright and early on New Year’s Day at 10 a.m. against West Virginia on ESPN2.