Marquette downs No. 14 UConn in OTFeb 25, 2011 - 7:26 AM Marquette to a much-needed 74-67 overtime victory over 14th-ranked Connecticut at the XL Center.
Jimmy Butler supplied 16 points and seven boards while Dwight Buycks came off the bench to score 13 for the Golden Eagles (17-11, 8-7 Big East), who greatly improved their chances of making the NCAA Tournament with their second straight win.
"I thought our team's energy, our toughness and their attitude relative to pulling for one another was impressive and consistent from start to finish," said Marquette head coach Buzz Williams. "I thought for as discombobulated as we were for most of the second half, they just kept hanging in there."
Kemba Walker poured in a game-best 27 points while Alex Oriakhi contributed 12 points and a game-high 15 rebounds for the Huskies (20-7, 8-7), who have lost two in a row and three out of their last five.
UConn head coach Jim Calhoun missed the game due to the death of his sister- in-law on Monday. One day later, sanctions were handed down by the NCAA resulting in the Hall-of-Fame head coach being suspended for the first three conference games next season relating to recruitment violations regarding former student Nate Miles, who never played for the Huskies.
Walker's bucket pulled UConn to within 66-65 before Johnson-Odom answered with one of his own to push the lead back to three with 1:53 left in overtime.
Johnson-Odom canned another jumper from near the foul line 41 seconds later to increase the visitors lead to five.
UConn's last best hope faded when Donnell Beverly missed two foul shots with 35 ticks left.
"Marquette was tough," Walker said. "They made big plays down the stretch and they were able to come out with the victory."
UConn opened the second half with an 18-4 run to reclaim a 41-38 lead on a Niels Giffey three-pointer with just under 13 1/2 minutes to play.
A Walker jumper and two inside buckets by Jeremy Lamb extended the Huskies' lead to 49-41 near the midway point of the second half. Buycks' triple almost eight minutes in was the visitors initial bucket of the stanza.
Junior Cadougan capped a furious comeback with a trifecta to give Marquette a 56-55 advantage with a shade over three minutes remaining.
Two Walker free throws put the hosts back in the lead at 59-57 with 2:18 to go. Following a Huskies turnover, Johnson-Odom's driving layup with 5.3 ticks left knotted the score before Walker's twisting, driving shot from the lane bounced off the rim to send the game into the extra session.
Chris Otule's three-point play finished an 11-2 spurt to give Marquette its first lead at 14-13 with 9:45 remaining in the half.
A three-point play by Butler extended Marquette's advantage to 27-17 six minutes later. Butler's jump shot in the final three seconds of the half gave the Golden Eagles a 34-23 lead at the intermission.
Walker was held to six in the first half on 3-of-8 shooting as the Huskies struggled to just a 31 percent shooting mark (10-for-32) in the opening 20 minutes.
Walker has scored 622 points this season to become the 11th player in UConn history to total at least 600 points in a season. Emeka Okafor and Ben Gordon were the last two players to reach the milestone during the 2003-04 campaign. Walker also passed Okafor and Rashad Anderson to move into 17th place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,442 points...Walker made just 10-of-27 shots and grabbed five rebounds...Lamb finished with eight points and 12 boards...Marquette shot just 28 percent in the second half and only 20 percent (4-for-20) from three-point range...Johnson-Odom missed all seven of his tries from long distance...The Golden Eagles were 18-of-28 from the foul line in comparison to 6-of-11 for UConn...Jae Crowder contributed seven points and 11 caroms in the win, the fourth for Marquette in seven all-time meetings with the Huskies.
- MARQUETTE: 74
Final - OT
Feb 24 9:19 PM
- MARQUETTE: 59
End of Regulation
Feb 24 9:05 PM
- MARQUETTE: 34
Feb 24 7:50 PM
- MARQUETTE: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Feb 24 7:04 PM
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