Along with his team high 11 points, Ousmane Barro notched his fourth career double- double by grabbing 11 rebounds. Dan Fitzgerald, Jerel McNeal, Wesley Matthews, and David Cubillan added 10 points apiece. In addition to the balanced scoring, Marquette hit the glass, out rebounding Rutgers 40-28.
"That (rebounding) is a point of emphasis for us in practice," said MU assistant coach Bennie Seltzer, speaking on behalf of Tom Crean who was ill. "We feel that if we can rebound we can play with anybody in the country."
Despite shooting 3-13 from the three point line and creating just one steal, #11 Marquette was able to build a lead of 11 with 4:40 remaining in the first frame. Marquette turned in one of their best defensive halves of the season by holding the Scarlet Knights to just 23 points on 9 for 24 shooting.
"Early in the game, they got easy baskets in transition," said Rutgers coach Fred Hill, who coached at Marquette under Bob Dukiet 20 years ago. "They also got us a little on the offensive glass."
Rutgers (9-15, 2-9), the lowest scoring team in the Big East, mustered just 47 points shooting 42% from the floor.
"If you don't score, you can't win," admitted Hill. "But I told our guys, ‘Marquette is a good team.' It might not have been the most pretty or artistic game, but Marquette found a way to win, really not playing their style."
Despite another poor shooting night (1-7), Dominic James contributed seven assists, four rebounds, and did not commit a turnover in 34 minutes of action.
"You have off nights," said Seltzer of James. "But as a point guard, you cannot take a night off because you still have to pass the ball."
MU (21-4, 8-2) will now look to a rematch with Georgetown after the Hoyas defeated the Golden Eagles in the quarterfinals of last year's Big East Tournament.
"We are playing good basketball, but not our best," added Matthews.
Marquette has now won eight consecutive conference games, their best such streak since winning 10 straight in Conference USA during the 2002-2003 season.
**Andrew Sharos is a senior with a double major in History and Secondary Education. Andrew is also the Head Student Writer for MarquetteHoops.com.