MILWAUKEE—The Marquette Golden Eagles rolled to a 102-77 victory over the Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils on Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.
Jae Crowder scored a game- and career-high 22 points including an exciting sequence of plays in the first half where he hit back-to-back-to-back three-pointers, effectively putting the game out of reach.
When asked about knocking down his third consecutive shot from beyond the arch, Crowder responded, "[After getting fouled] on the way down I heard my teammates yell heat check, and when I looked up and saw that it went in, I had to turn to the bench and smile."
One might argue that the ‘heat check' was not synonymous to just Crowder this evening as Darius Johnson-Odom looked to be returning to the form many MU fans became familiar with last season. The junior guard hit five-of-seven shots from downtown, en route to scoring 19 points. Johnson-Odom rounded out his game contributing six rebounds and six assists.
"We need him to be more consistent, and he realizes that," said Head Coach Buzz Williams. "Because DJ can score off the dribble – and when he does that on a given night – it forces his man to stay with him and everything opens up."
Jimmy Butler poured in 17 points for the Golden Eagles (9-3) and Vander Blue added 15. Blue continued to fill up the stat sheet adding five assists, three steals, two rebounds, and 2 blocks.
Playing without point guards Junior Cadougan and Reggie Smith (due to illness), the lion's share of minutes went to senior guard Dwight Buycks. He dished out seven assists for the game and recorded 5 steals. Freshman guard Vander Blue also saw some time at the point for the Golden Eagles.
"We played Vander at the point a little yesterday in practice and some today in the game, and I think he looked pretty good," said Coach Williams. Buzz did however note that the team really needs one more guard in the rotation to play the way they want to.
The Golden Eagles shot 50 percent for the game and 50 percent from downtown. MU also hit 26-of-31 shots from the line. MVSU was only able to hit 40 percent of their attempts and just 31 percent from beyond the arc.
Former Milwaukee Pius star D'Angelo Jackson led the Delta Devils (1-10) with 17 points. The Delta Devils we able to grab 13 offensive rebounds in the game and converted them into 12 second-chance points.
Despite the team's apparent lack of identity, Buzz Williams asserted that he's happy with the direction the team is going in.
"I think we're beginning to gain some consistency on many different levels. [Obviously] not having Junior and Reggie tweaked that a little bit tonight, but I like the progression of where we're at."
The Marquette Golden Eagles return to the court next Wednesday when they travel to Nashville to face the Vanderbilt Commodores. Tip time is set for 8:00 CST and the game will be televised nationally on ESPN2.
MU overpowers MVSU 102-77
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