Marquette rallies to beat MountaineersFeb 25, 2012 - 5:36 AM Marquette to a 61-60 comeback win over West Virginia at WVU Coliseum on Friday.
"I thought it was a dog fight," said Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. "I told our guys before the game - it wouldn't be a play, it wouldn't be a stat, it would be a fight from the beginning to the end."
Vander Blue and Darius Johnson-Odom added 10 and nine points, respectively, for the Golden Eagles (24-5, 13-3 Big East), who won for the first time in five tries in Morgantown.
Johnson-Odom, the team's leading scorer, and Blue were both suspended for the first half along with Junior Cadougan for an undisclosed violation of team rules. A fourth player, Todd Mayo, played in the first half, but missed the second for the same infraction.
Darryl Bryant paced West Virginia (17-12, 7-9) with 25 points and Kevin Jones chipped in 12 points and six rebounds. The Mountaineers have now lost four of their last five contests.
Johnson-Odom used his first bucket of the game to pull the Golden Eagles within five, then added a dunk off of an offensive rebound and a three-pointer on consecutive possessions to cut the deficit to 45-42 with 8:36 left in the game.
Marquette led by as many as five after a Crowder layup made it 58-53, but Dominique Rutledge corralled an offensive rebound and finished the layup to make it a 58-56 margin with 2:03 to play.
The team's then exchanged free throws and, after Johnson-Odom missed a layup, Keaton Miles finished a layup on the other end to make it a 61-60 contest with 15.1 seconds left.
Marquette got two at the line but Cadougan missed both of his attempts giving West Virginia the ball with 6.6 seconds after they advanced it to halfcourt and took a timeout.
Bryant caught the inbounds bounce in the backcourt and drove hard to the right side. Crowder stepped up to defend, forcing Bryant's floater to go long and Marquette came down with the rebound to seal West Virginia's fate.
"This one is really easy to say why now: He didn't play three of his starters in the first half and he played them in the second half," said Huggins about the disparity between the first and second half of the game.
West Virginia got back-to-back triples from Bryant to cap an 11-2 spurt that gave the home team a 25-17 advantage with just under four minutes left until halftime.
The Mountaineers took advantage of the short-handed Golden Eagles on the glass, doubling the visitors in first half rebounds (22-11), which turned into eight second chance points for West Virginia as it took a 32-21 halftime edge.
Marquette's 13 Big East wins marks the most Big East wins ever for the team since it became a member prior to the 2005-06 season...Both teams struggled from long range as the Golden Eagles shot 3-of-16, while the Mountaineers boasted a 5-of-20 mark from three-point range.
- MARQUETTE: 61
WEST VIRGINIA: 60
Feb 24 11:10 PM
- MARQUETTE: 21
WEST VIRGINIA: 32
Feb 24 9:52 PM
- MARQUETTE: 0
WEST VIRGINIA: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 24 9:04 PM
- Marquette's Vander Blue to enter NBA Draft Apr 16
- Orange crush Marquette, reach Final Four Mar 30
- Big East rivals Syracuse, Marquette meet in Elite Eight Mar 29
- Marquette blows through Hurricanes, reach Elite Eight Mar 29
- Miami-Florida meets Marquette in Sweet 16 action Mar 27
- Marquette holds on to down Butler in NCAA third round Mar 24
- Butler battles Marquette in East Regional action Mar 22
- Blue lifts Marquette over Davidson with winning layup Mar 21
- Davidson, Marquette meet in NCAA Tournament's second round Mar 20
- Irish shoot past Marquette into Big East semis Mar 15
- Irish collide with Golden Eagles in Big East quarters Mar 14
- Marquette outlasts St. John's in OT Mar 10