Saturday, January 8, 2011

Marquette 2-0 in Big East

I know it is early in the season, but Buzz I think you have the right to give your team a round of applause. On New Year's Day Marquette took on a good West Virginia team, and they were able to take them down. Then Wednesday night they were able to get a lead and then hold off Rutgers. These are by no means big wins in the Big East, but they are games that you have to win. It is also nice to get a home win, and a road win to start your conference season.

Looking back, after a rough New Years Eve night of drinking, I was kind of pumped to be able to move my bed to the living room and watch some Golden Eagles basketball, and their 79-74 win. Marquette started the game off hot, and was up 28-17 in the first half. That was the last time this game was close whatsoever. West Virginia went on a run right after that to cut Marquette's lead to 30-28. This was a back and forth hard fought game by both teams. Darryl Bryant and Casey Mitchell would hit big shots from downtown for the Mountaineers, but Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom were working hard in the paint.

This was the definition of a great college basketball game. Both teams gave everything they had the whole game, and a Chris Otule dunk with 1:24 left to go put Marquette up 1. That was enough for Marquette to step up the defense and knock down free throws. Winning close games in the Big East is huge, so Marquette needed this one. Jae Crowder needs to get a shoutout for what he did. He must have said his goal for 2011 was to fill the stat sheet. In the first game of the year, he can put a check mark next to it because he did just that. He finished the game with 29 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 steals. Also I guess I can throw in the fact that he was 12-14 from the field.

Then on Wednesday night Marquette went to Rutgers to get a 73-65 win. Darius Johnson-Odom is starting to find his shot, and that is a good thing for Marquette. He was not very good in the early games versus ranked teams, but maybe he will figure it out for Big East ball. He finished Wednesday nights game with 29 points. He was also 5-8 from downtown, so he will need to keep that up with the schedule ahead for Marquette.

This afternoon Marquette will be tested as they travel to Pittsburgh, a team ranked #5 in the nation. Tip is at 1:00 central time, and this will be far from easy for the the Golden Eagles. It would be nice to see them beat one of these ranked teams, because they have come up just short so far this season. The real thing Marquette will have to do is keep Pitt of the offensive rebounds, but Marquette is ranked 91st in the nation for rebounding, and Pittsburgh is ranked 2nd. Odds are that stat will decide who will win this game, so Marquette better box out.

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