MILWAUKEE-The Marquette Golden Eagles cruised to a 31-point victory over the Longwood Lancers on Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Center on the heels of two huge first half runs. First, MU scored 15 unanswered points, jumping out to a 17-4 lead, and then had an 18-0 run in the closing minutes of the first half.
The Golden Eagles capitalized on a balanced scoring attack, with five players reaching double figures. As a team, Marquette shot 54.3 percent from the floor. However, Marquette dipped back into their shooting slump from downtown, hitting only 3-of-14 shots from 3-point land.
Chris Otule posted another solid performance, leading all scorers with a career-high 19 points. Otule was a perfect 9-for-9 from the field, and chipped in five rebounds and three blocks.
The Golden Eagles made use of their height advantage, outscoring Longwood 58-16 in the paint and out-rebounding the Lancers 49-28. Marquette also pulled down 16 offensive rebounds.
"[Rebounding] was a major key," Vander Blue said. "We were pretty upset with how we rebounded against UWM…we really emphasized this week closing, taking up space, finishing possessions and getting rebounds."
Darius Johnson-Odom, Dwight Buycks, Jae Crowder and Blue all reached double-digits in the scoring column. Senior Joe Fulce returned from a knee injury, contributing nine points and six rebounds.
"I love what Joe's about," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said following the win. "He can rebound out of his area and he can make shots. We need him."
Jimmy Butler failed to score in double figures for the first time this season, but grabbed a game-high 11 rebounds.
"He's the smartest guy on our team, definitely the most versatile on the team," Williams said. "He's a guy that's really hard for us to take off the floor because he does so many things."
Martiz Washington was the Lancers top-scorer, netting 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting from beyond the arc. Washington had 12 points going into the break with Longwood trailing 50-27.
Marquette held a Longwood team that came in averaging 84 points-per-game to only 65 points. The Golden Eagles also forced 18 Lancer turnovers. However, Marquette turned the basketball over 15 times themselves, including four turnovers by Blue.
Davante Gardner missed his second straight game with an injured shoulder.
Marquette returns to action Tuesday night at the Bradley Center against the Islanders of Texas A&M Corpus Christi.
Marquette lances Longwood, 96-65
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