The Marquette Golden Eagles overcame a nine-point second half deficit to take down the West Virginia Mountaineers 67-61 in the second round of the Big East Tournament.
Junior Cadougan led the way for the tournament-bound Golden Eagles with 15 points and five assists, and Darius Johnson-Odom hit two clutch three-pointers late in the second half to give Marquette the lead for good.
West Virginia, making just 33 percent of its three point field goals in conference, came out of the gates firing from behind the arc, making 7-of-13 three-pointers. Their success gave them a seven-point lead at half, with Marquette being carried by Chris Otule's seven points.
In the second half, it was the Junior Cadougan show. The sophomore scored 13 (of his 15) points, including seven in a row for the Golden Eagles, and hit two clutch free throws down the stretch to seal the win.
He was also the set-up man on Johnson-Odom's three-pointer that broke a 55-all tie with 4:51 remaining. "DJO" had made just two of eight shots before that one, but said he found the flow of the game late, which resulted in back-to-back threes that put Marquette up for good.
Jimmy Butler: He attempted just five shots, missed three free throws, and had two rebounds, but his defensive effort was key in Marquette coming away with the victory. When he wasn't battling inside with Kevin Jones, he was shutting down Joe Mazzulla, which stalled West Virginia's offense in the second half.
Chris Otule: Amazingly, he was held without a rebound last night, but his seven first half points, including five of the team's first seven, set the tone inside for Marquette. He blocked a shot but played just 18 minutes because of West Virginia's quicker forwards.
Dwight Buycks: Because of Cadougan's excellent play, Buycks was able to shift over to his natural shooting guard position last night. It showed too, as he was much more aggressive shooting (4-of-9) and finished with eight important points.
Darius Johnson-Odom: It was looking like an off night for 35 minutes, but back-to-back threes late in the game put Marquette ahead and into the quarterfinals. Despite the slow start, people will only remember how he finished, and he did that in spectacular form.
Erik Williams: He started and played six minutes, and finished with just a steal in the box score.
Joe Fulce: After not playing against Providence, Fulce came off the bench for a short time, just two minutes, and hit a huge shot from downtown to pull Marquette within one in the second half. He also grabbed a rebound before exiting the game.
Junior Cadougan: What more can be said about the MVP of last night's game? He was everywhere on the court, asserting himself offensively by driving with confidence to the basket, finding open teammates, and knocking down big free throws. If he can play like he did last night, Marquette will not be leaving New York City for a few days.
Vander Blue: The box score will not tell the story (0 points, 4 rebounds, 1 steal), but Blue's defense was vital to Marquette holding the Mountaineers to just 22 percent shooting in the second half. With Cadougan's 15 points, the Golden Eagles did not need Blue to score. Instead, he played pesky defense all night.
Jae Crowder: With Otule lacking on the boards, it was Crowder who picked up the slack inside. Marquette's leading rebounder had himself a complete night with 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. He scored just 4 points but did enough in other areas to help Marquette. Another important note is that he did not pick up a personal foul in the win.
Davante Gardner: The freshman forward has worked himself back into the rotation, and for good reason. He made all four of his field goals and both of his free throws and also grabbed three rebounds. He allows Marquette bigs extra rest and has become a sparkplug, albeit a big one, off the bench.
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