MILWAUKEE-Despite overall sloppy play, the Marquette Golden Eagles held off the South Dakota Coyotes 82-69 at the Bradley Center on Saturday afternoon.
I'm glad it's over," MU head coach Buzz Williams said. "I thought it was by far our worst performance of the year. I didn't think that we did many consecutive things on either end of the floor very well."
The Golden Eagles committed 16 turnovers for the game and forced many difficult shots inside the paint, much to the dismay of Williams.
"[I'm] disappointed as a group, disappointed in them individually," Williams added. "[They] did not play "us" on either end of the floor. Until we can do that, we'll struggle to have a lot of success."
Leading by five with 7:42 remaining, MU went on a 12-to-2 run to expand their lead before the break. Then, leading by 12 early in the second half, the Golden Eagles went on a 12-to-1 run on the back of senior Jimmy Butler. During the run Butler scored seven straight points.
USD made a late run, cutting a once 23-point lead down to 11 with 3:42 remaining. Two baskets by senior guard Dwight Buycks led Marquette back to a comfortable lead.
Butler led the way with 20 points and 9 rebounds and sophomore Chris Otule added 15 points and 8 rebounds, both career highs. Darius Johnson-Odom and Buycks also finished in double-figures with 14 and 11 points respectively.
Marquette continued their struggles from beyond the arc shooting 1-of-9 from downtown and they are shooting just 33 percent for the season. Last year, the Golden Eagles finished fifth in the country in three-point percentage.
Charlie Westbrook scored 17 points to lead USD in scoring. Four other Coyotes finished in double figures.
MU freshman center Davante Gardner left the game early in the first half with an apparent shoulder injury. He did not return to the game and his status is unknown. Senior forward Joe Fulce was not suited up for the game due to a knee injury. His status going forward is still to be determined.
Marquette now heads to Kansas City to take on the No. 1/1 ranked Duke Blue Devils in a CBE Classic semifinal matchup on Monday night at 6:30 pm CT.
Well, it's a win
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