Golden Eagles fly past Phoenix

The Marquette Golden Eagles improve their series record versus Green Bay to 8-2, after playing the Phoenix for the first time since 1996.

MILWAUKEE—The Marquette Golden Eagles defeated the Green Bay Phoenix 89-69 at the Bradley Center on Wednesday night.

From the opening tip Marquette imposed it's tempo on Green Bay, pressing after made baskets and quickly racing up the court.

"I think we got up the floor really well and our point guards really controlled the pace of the game," MU junior guard Darius Johnson-Odom said.

Jae Crowder led the way for MU scoring 17 points and pulling down nine rebounds. Fellow newcomer Vander Blue added 14 points and four other Golden Eagles scored in double figures.

"Jae has earned the right to start," MU head coach Buzz Williams said. "He's going to end up being the heart and soul of what we are all about because he has such great feel for what we're doing and he's just three games into his career [here at Marquette]."

Marquette attacked Green Bay from the get-go jumping out to an 18-4 lead at the 13:42 mark. The aggressive play produced many opportunities at the free throw line. For the game, MU shot 21-of-33.

"Marquette came out tonight and threw the first punch and it took us a little while to respond," said Green Bay coach Brian Wardle."They were the aggressors and they attacked, attacked, attacked from the start."

Crowder scored eight straight points in a one minute, 36 second span to extend MU's lead to 37-20 and the Golden Eagles went into intermission with a 20-point lead. In the first half, the Golden Eagles torched the nets to the tune of 58 percent while the Phoenix shot just 32 percent.

Green Bay was able to peck at the lead after the break, but never got closer than 15 points. During the second half MU outscored Green Bay 26-6 in the paint.

Junior Jimmy Butler finished the game with 13 points while fellow starters Dwight Buycks and Darius Johnson-Odom finished with 12 and 11 points, respectively. Freshman Davante Gardner added 11 points off the bench.

Milwaukee native Bryquis Perine led the Phoenix with 21 points. Steve Baker added 11 points. It was a homecoming of sorts for Green Bay head coach Brian Wardle and assistant coach Brian Barone. Both played for Marquette collegiately and Wardle ranks among the top 10 scorers in MU history.

Marquette hosts South Dakota on Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Center. After that, the Golden Eagles will head to Kansas City to take on the No. 1 ranked Duke Blue Devils in a CBE Classic semifinal matchup.

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