Without leading scorer Darius Johnson-Odom, Mayo provided a spark for the MU offense in the first half. The freshman guard was perfect from downtown (4-4) scoring 14 points before intermission.
"The way he adjusted (to starting in Johnson-Odom's absence) was how we as a team expected him to," said senior forward Jae Crowder of Mayo's performance.
"He stepped up to the plate when his name was called. He played within himself and he's a great scorer on the offensive end and a great defensive player as well."
Marquette Head Coach Buzz Williams reiterated the praise for Mayo and for the team.
"I'm not sure [Mayo] could have responded any better than he did," said Williams. "I thought our guys were a lot better today after a week off, playing without our leading scorer and a guy that can probably create his shot as well as anybody in the country. I thought our execution and discipline on both ends was really good, in the first 16 minutes of each half."
Johnson-Odom did not play Saturday as he was suspended for violating of team rules. Mayo said he did not find out that he would start until 10 minutes before tipoff.
"[My mentality] stayed the same," said Mayo. "I just knew I was going to have to step it up a little bit and turn it on right then because I haven't started a game here yet."
With Marquette leading 53-32 at the 18:10 mark of the second half, things seemed to be in cruise control for the Golden Eagles. However, Northern Colorado would not make it that easy.
The Bears went on a 15-3 run to cut the MU lead to single digits, 56-47. Marquette answered just how you would expect the No. 11 ranked team to. A 13-5 run propelled the Golden Eagle lead back into comfort—for good.
Marquette shot 48 percent for the game and connected on 30-of 36 free-throw attempts (83 percent). Meanwhile, they were able to hold the Bears to just 38 percent shooting. MU was able to capitalize on 14 offensive rebounds, converting 25 second-chance points.
Redshirt sophomore guard Tate Unruh scored a career-high 25 points to lead Northern Colorado. The six-foot-four guard hit five-of-eight shots from downtown. Meanwhile, the Bears leading scorer Paul Garnica was held scoreless.
In Johnson-Odom's absence, four other Golden Eagles scored in double figures.
Crowder posted his third double-double of the season, scoring 19 points and grabbing 11 rebounds.
Vander Blue scored 18 points on 5-of-8 shooting. Blue was able to get out in transition for easy finishes or trips to the free-throw line. Blue hit 8-of-11 attempts from the charity stripe.
The Golden Eagles made a concerted effort to dump the ball inside to center Davante Gardner from the onset. Gardner responded well by pouring in seven of his 14 points in the first 3:33.
While nine different Golden Eagles saw action on Saturday only Jamil Wilson was able to put points on the scoreboard. Wilson scored a Marquette career-high 11 points and also contributed two blocks on the defensive end.
Wilson made his return to the Golden Eagle lineup after missing the Green Bay game with an ankle injury.
Also returning to the lineup was freshman forward Juan Anderson. Anderson was expected to miss three-to-four weeks with a shoulder injury but came back eight days after the announcement was made.
Marquette travels to Baton Rouge next for a non-conference matchup against the LSU Tigers. Tip-off is set for 8 PM CST Monday.
Marquette defeats Northern Colorado 93-72
MILWAUKEE—Freshman guard Todd Mayo scored a career-high 22 points to lead undefeated Marquette (10-0) to a 93-72 victory over Northern Colorado (3-7) at the Bradley Center on Saturday afternoon.
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