MILWAUKEE- It was the Jae Crowder show at the Bradley Center Monday night as the senior forward led the Golden Eagles with 27 points en route to an 88-56 win over Jacksonville University.
Crowder netted 23 of his points after the break, shooting 8-of-10 from the floor in the second half. Fellow senior Darius Johnson-Odom also chipped in 19 points for the Golden Eagles, in addition to his five rebounds and four assists.
Marquette led by nine at the break after scoring seven unanswered points to close out the first half. A Darius Johnson-Odom fade away three-pointer at the buzzer capped off the run. Marquette maintained that momentum by posting a 25-9 run to start the second half.
Defensively, Marquette's athleticism and ball pressure were overwhelming for Jacksonville. The Golden Eagles forced 17 turnovers, leading to 19 points. Sophomore Vander Blue was instrumental on the defensive end, recording four steals and pulling down seven defensive rebounds.
Blue also spearheaded a brand of unselfish basketball that has been a trend for Marquette this season. Blue dished out seven assists, while fellow guard Junior Cadougan had six.
"Those guys are turning down good shots, and we're getting great shots," Williams noted.
Freshman Todd Mayo showed prowess offensively off the bench for Buzz Williams, adding a career-high 14 points in only 15 minutes. The freshman showed versatility, scoring off the dribble while also knocking down open jumpers. His offensive contribution was clear, but Williams also praised his defensive effort.
"He's so good offensively, that you don't necessarily pay attention to what he's doing for us defensively," Williams said. "At times [he] has guarded the opponent's best player, and done an outstanding job."
Hats off to an undersized pack of Dolphins, who held their own on the glass despite playing nobody taller than 6'7". They outrebounded the Golden Eagles 35-33, a total which included 14 offensive rebounds.
The Golden Eagles head down I-94 to Madison to take on in-state rival Wisconsin Saturday afternoon at 3:30. The matchup will serve as Marquette's first true test, and an opportunity to set the tone for the rest of the season.
"If you look at their non conference record at the Kohl Center, there are not a lot of people that win there," Williams said. "Our guys will be excited, and I think it will be a great test."
Golden Eagles drown Dolphins
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