MILWAUKEE—Rutgers head coach Mike Rice put his team's loss on Wednesday night to Marquette in perspective in a blunt and straight-forward manner.
"Right now they have men, we have boys."
Those men included seniors Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom, who combined for 48 points, as Marquette beat Rutgers 82-65.
Crowder had 27 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 steals, and 3 blocks, as he continued playing as well as anyone in the country. Over his last three games, he is averaging 26.3 points and 8.3 rebounds.
"Of all the players that we've coached here in our tenure," Marquette head coach Buzz Williams said, "his efficiency numbers are staggering. He's just in a really good space emotionally. He's in a really good space physically and mentally."
Johnson-Odom added 21 points, with 19 of them coming in the first half, when he found himself in one of his unstoppable scoring spurts.
Marquette, as they did against Connecticut last Saturday, avoided one of their patented slow starts, and came out firing on all cylinders against the Scarlet Knights.
The start was sparked by Jae Crowder scoring nine of the Golden Eagles' first 17 points, finished by Junior Cadougan's three-point-play with 14:51 left in the first half.
Rutgers would cut the lead down the six in the first half, but went into halftime down by 11, at 46-35.
After extending the lead to 12 at 56-44 with 16:20 left in the second half, Rutgers kept it close for a while, within eight at 60-52 with 11:19 remaining.
The Golden Eagles proceeded to went on a 10-2 run to take a commanding 72-54 lead, which was finished off by a dunk from Johnson-Odom. From that point on, it was all Golden Eagles, who went on to win by 17 points.
Crowder's big night follows a lot more attention nationally, with many touting him as one of the leaders for BIG EAST Player of the Year. He says it's tough to avoid all of the talk, but admits that he does see it.
"I really can't buy into it," Crowder said. "My twitter goes crazy, so unfortunately I look at it, but I try not to buy into it at all. I just try to play basketball and let the rest of it take care of itself at this point in time."
Marquette has a very quick turnaround this week, having to travel to West Virginia for their next game on Friday. Williams says that won't make him act any differently on Thursday, after just focusing on this game.
"Sometimes coaches try to out-trick themselves," Williams said. "Win this game, and then we'll figure it out from there."
Men against boys
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