MILWAUKEE – The Marquette Golden Eagles extended the nation's longest active win streak to 37 with a 71-51 victory over the UW-Milwaukee Panthers Tuesday night.
MU's winning streak ranks as the second largest ever over a single opponent.
Jimmy Butler led MU in scoring with 19 points on 6 -of-6 from the field, in front of 14,244 at the Bradley Center.
"Jimmy's a key to our team," sophomore Darius Johnson-Odom said. "We need him to score and to defend bigger and quicker guys."
Johnson-Odom chipped in 15, including 3-of-4 from downtown. He is now 21-for-38 - 55% -on the season.
"He's improved every game," UWM head coach Rob Jeter said. "He's playing at a pace that fits him."
Marquette put the game out of reach late in the first half with an 8-0 run that featured an 18 foot jumper from Jeronne Maymon and three-pointers by David Cubillan and Johnson-Odom.
The Golden Eagles were at their best in the paint, scoring 32 in the key and getting to the free-throw line, where they converted 17-of-21 attempts.
Defensively, Marquette forced 20 turnovers, including 13 steals, leading to 15 points. Butler had two of those steals, and two blocks. Maurice Acker added four steals.
"They may be an inch smaller, but they're quicker and stronger," Jeter said. "When you play Marquette, you know what you're getting into: 40 minutes of pressure."
In addition, UWM's leading scorer on the season, James Eayrs, was held to two points.
"Eayrs is a really good player," Williams said. "He's so wide that he's hard to maneuver, has great hands, is really mobile, and I thought Lazar did a really good job."
Marquette will travel the 78 miles to Madison to play the Wisconsin Badgers on Saturday, though Buzz Williams does not believe they are quite ready.
"They are coached by a hall-of-fame coach," Williams said. "His non-conference record at home is 94.6% and we'll have our hands full. We have to continue to get better."
Marquette and Wisconsin tip off on Saturday at 4 p.m. on ESPN2.
Game Notes: Joe Fulce and Acker returned to the starting line-up tonight… Maymon had a career-high 8 points on 4-of-4 shooting… Butler led the team in scoring and rebounding for the second straight night… MU did not have an offensive rebound in the second half.