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Monday, January 10, 2011

Recap: Marquette 79 - Notre Dame 57

Ryan Ellerbusch

Whether it was Marquette’s outstanding team performance from three-point range, Notre Dame’s poor shooting from the field, or the courtside presence of Marquette graduate/Minnesota Timberwolves rookie forward Lazar Hayward, the Golden Eagles defeated the 11th ranked Notre Dame Fighting Irish 79-57 in the 114th meeting throughout this storied rivalry. Marquette has faced Notre Dame more times (117) than any opponent other than Wisconsin.

“Overrated!” was what the Marquette student section was chanting in the closing minutes of their blowout victory over Notre Dame (14-3, 3-2 Big East) on Monday night. Coming into the game, Notre Dame was deemed as one of the Big East teams on the rise, defeating quality opponents in recent weeks such as Georgetown, Connecticut, and St. Johns. Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis, each averaging 16 points a game for Notre Dame, were shut down by Marquette's defense and were held to just 9 and 10 points respectively. Notre Dame’s 57 points scored on ESPN2’s “Big Monday” nationally televised primetime game against Marquette is far off from their average of 78.2 team points per game. They made just 21 of 53 (39.6%) from the field including a woeful 3 of 16 (18.8%) from beyond the arc in the loss.

On the other hand, Marquette was firing from all cylinders under the watchful eye of Lazar Hayward who sat courtside near the Marquette bench cheering on his alma mater. Marquette was 12-17 (70.6%) from three-point range and had four players score in double-digits. Dwight Buycks finished with 21 points and was 5-5 from beyond the arc. Jae Crowder was 4-6 from downtown and had 18 points to go with a team-high 7 rebounds. Jimmy Butler had 15 points and got to the free-throw line 7 times on the evening. Lastly, Darius Johnson-Odom scored 13 points and was 2-2 from three-point range. Marquette led since the opening tip-off with Johnson-Odom knocking down a 3-pointer and later adding a slam dunk following a 3-pointer from Dwight Buycks near the Al McGuire Center court logo to give Marquette a 64-43 lead with 7:39 left to play. Marquette never lost momentum throughout the entire game and now improves to 10-1 at home inside The Bradley Center.

Marquette (12-5, 3-1 Big East) will travel to Louisville (13-2, 2-0 Big East) on Saturday before welcoming Marquette students back to campus for the beginning of second semester on Tuesday, January 18th versus DePaul (6-9, 0-3 Big East).

Saturday, January 15, 2011 @ Louisville Cardinals - 10:00 a.m.

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