MILWAUKEE- The Marquette Golden Eagles were able to continue their success at home as they capped off their three game homestead with a come-from-behind win Monday as they rallied back to defeat Louisville 74-63, improving their Big East record to 4-2.
Things looked bleak for Marquette early on as the Golden Eagles started the game off shooting 1-9 from the field. Meanwhile, Louisville's guards Chris and Russ Smith came out firing from behind the arc, both hitting two 3-pointers's within the first six minutes and helping Louisville grab a quick 18-2 lead to start off the game.
Facing yet another early deficit, MU coach Buzz Williams was able to rally his team, adding a 1-2-2 three-quarter-court pressure as the Golden Eagles began chipping away at the lead. After tip-in by senior guard Darius Johnson-Odom and back-to-back 3-pointer's by Johnson-Odom and freshman guard Todd Mayo, the lead was cut to 10 and MU's comeback was underway.
Johnson-Odom and Todd Mayo would continue to lead the first half offensive charge with the help of sophomore forward Davante Gardner. With 2:27 left in the first half, Gardner hit two free throws to tie the game at 30-all.
With Marquette fans already on their feet, the Golden Eagles took the lead just under 1:30 left in the first half and would go into the locker room leading 34-30. Johnson Odom led the team at half with 10 points while Mayo and Gardner both scored 8 points before the break.
Marquette's three-quarter-court pressure forced Louisville out of their comfort zone, in the first half, forcing 7 turnovers in the final 14 minutes before intermission. The defensive stops bolstered Marquette's confidence on offense end, as the Golden Eagles went on a 32-12 tear to finish the first half.
After the break, Marquette was able to carry the first half momentum over to the second half. Johnson-Odom added another 9 points in the second half, finishing with 19 points through 37 minutes of play.
Gardner had a big second half with 9 points, finishing with 17 points in 18 minutes of play and going 7-7 from the free-throw line. Senior forward Jae Crowder made big contributions with 14 points and 11 rebounds and six steals as Marquette pulled away from Louisville late in the second half.
Williams will take the win, but is still looking for his squad to play a complete game.
"If the games were 33 minutes, we'd be really good," said Williams. "We just have to figure out how to get that seven minutes to be us."
Williams and the Golden Eagles hope to find that seven minutes in their next game, against Big East opponent Providence on Saturday Night. Tip time is set for 6:00 CT.
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