"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Marquette nearly loses to UW-Milwaukee for the first time.....SINCE TIME BEGAN

For all the talent MU has, for all the coaching acumen Buzz Williams offers, you would be hard pressed to find much of it tonight after MU went up 18 points in the second half and then decided to lay an egg until the final seconds of the game. Marquette escaped with a 75-72 win thanks to making 7 of 8 clutch free throws by Jimmy Butler, Jae Crowder and DJO in the final seconds. The win means Marquette is 38-0 all time against Milwaukee State Normal School \ Wisconsin State Teachers College \ Wisconsin State College of Milwaukee \ UWM \ UW-Milwaukee. The final margin was easily the closest of the 38 games....no other game was decided in single digits.

This was the first game ever between the two schools in which Marquette was the visitor. Television broadcasters expected about 8,000 in attendance and declared about a 50-50 split with MU and UW-M fans at US Cellular Arena (formerly known as the MECCA).

UW-M jumped to the early lead in the game at 4-0 before Marquette's defensive pressure and a stellar first half by DJO surged the Warriors into the lead for good. DJO scored 22 first half points on 5 for 5 behind the arc. He had been struggling all year to find his long range stroke, but consistently hit from outside in the first half. UW-M was able to hang around on the 3 point shooting of Tony Meir and the inside play of Anthony Hill. MU led at the break 47 to 35.

In the second half, MU continued to surge building a 18 point lead at 53-35 in the opening few minutes. It seemed at this point MU decided the game was in hand and went into cruise control. They got sloppy with the ball, made poor decision after poor decision and let the Panthers back into the game. UW-M went on two runs to combine for a 20-7 edge at 60-55 with 6:34 remaining in the game. MU answered with a a mini six point run to make it 66-55 in just over one minute of play before MU shut it down over the next 5 minutes.

UW-M cut the lead to 68-66 after an 11-2 run with 26.9 seconds remaining. Butler sunk two free throws to push the lead back to four, but MU allowed an easy UW-M put back basket at 70-68 with 12.2 seconds left. Butler was again fouled and calmly sunk two free throws again. With five seconds left, Williams was fouled going to the hoop but did not score. He made only one free throw. DJO was fouled on the other end and pushed MU's lead to 74-69 before McCallum drained a three pointer to cut the lead to two points with 1.5 seconds left. UW-M still had life. A dangerous inbound pass from Junior Cadougan was nearly stolen but Jae Crowder was able to corral it. Crowder was fouled...he missed the first free throw but nailed the second. UW-M had a wide open half court shot that was too high and too long. Marquette escaped in a game they played well for a half but terrible for the other....sound familiar....Bucknell, South Dakota, etc.

DJO led all scorers with 29 points. Jimmy Butler was the only other Warrior in double digits with 13. UW-M had four players in double digit scoring and were led by Ja'Rob McCallum's 19. MU was out rebounded 31 to 21. Buzz's squad again gave up over 40% shooting by an opponent from the three point area.

MU needs to shore up their defense and point guard play if it is to have a successful season this year. Tonight, Marquette escaped in a game they clearly had more talent but decided the game was over before it was.

Journal Sentinel article

Box Score

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