MU loses to UW 72-63 at Kohl Center

MADISON, Wis. _ In the last 28 minutes, Marquette outscored Wisconsin by eight points. Problem was, the Golden Eagles trailed by 17 before that. Jon Leuer scored 24 points and grabbed 12 rebounds to lead the Badgers to a 72-63 victory over the Golden Eagles on Saturday at the Kohl Center.

"You can't play from behind against a team like that," MU coach Buzz Williams said. "Our guys were excited to play, but we didn't handle that excitement the right way early on. We were much more comfortable in the second half, but we could never get over the hump."

Marquette got as close as three at 57-54, but Darius Johnson-Odom _ who made three 3-pointers in the first half _ missed a trey that would've tied the game and Wisconsin immediately went on an 8-0 run to regain control.

"I got us going in the first half, but then I think I got a little passive in the second half," Johnson-Odom said. "We just got too far behind early, but it shows this team never gives up."

Lazar Hayward led MU with 21 points and 12 rebounds. Johnson-Odom was the only other teammate to score in double figures with 13, but had five turnovers.

"I don't think anybody other than Lazar played well for us today," said Jimmy Butler, who fouled out with just eight points and four rebounds. "We were flying uphill all day and to give them that many free throws (33) is over the top."

Hayward said MU (7-3) will learn from losing its first true road game of the season to a UW team that is now 7-2.

"We were taking quick shots and we weren't pressing them enough," he said. "Leuer got off to a really hot start, so I switched off him after that."

Leuer scored a career-high 26 in UW's overtime loss at UWGB on Wednesday.

"I think he's a pro," Williams said. "He's like Jimmy Butler is for Marquette. He's really, really good. His skill set, his length and his intelligence is a really tough matchup."

Despite being shorter at every position, MU outrebounded UW 32-30. But Bo Ryan, who won his 200th game as UW coach, said he'd take his team's size over MU's speed.

"They asked Marv Harshman (longtime Washington and Washington State coach from Eau Claire) what he'd prefer, and he said size because when speed gets tired it slows down, but size never shrinks," Ryan recalled. "True story _ I didn't make that up."

MU, which was looking for its third straight win over UW, will now take this week off before hosting North Florida next Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Bradley Center.

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