Wis.-Green Bay-Marquette Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated December 09, 2011
Marquette's prolific offense is aided by its depth, but that could be challenged following the loss of one of its starters. The 11th-ranked Golden Eagles will try to remain undefeated Saturday night when they host Wisconsin-Green Bay without starting center Chris Otule. Marquette is looking to improve to 9-0 for the first time since 2004-05. The Golden Eagles extended their streak with another thrilling win Tuesday, defeating Washington 79-77 at Madison Square Garden. Coming off a 61-54 victory at then-No. 9 Wisconsin last Saturday, Marquette couldn't pull away against the Huskies. The game featured 15 lead changes and four ties over the final 12 minutes. Jae Crowder hit a 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds remaining and the Golden Eagles held on despite losing Otule in the opening minutes to an ACL injury. The 6-foot-11 Otule is averaging 5.0 points, 4.4 rebounds and 1.6 blocked shots in about 18 minutes per game. "I think I did a poor job of helping our team when Chris Otule got hurt because that changes how you have to guard ball screens," coach Buzz Williams said. "But I thought once we kind of got into the groove, we were better." It's unclear how long Otule will be out. His absence - along with that of freshman forward Juan Anderson, who was injured in practice Thursday - leaves Marquette without much size inside, but it still has plenty of talent that can run the ball. The Golden Eagles average 83.5 points - 12th in the country - and have four players with at least 9.8 per game. Darius Johnson-Odom, who had 23 against Washington, is averaging a team-high 19.9. Marquette has also had some good performances off the bench. Freshman guard Todd Mayo has scored in double figures each of the last three games, getting 11 against the Huskies, while sophomore Davante Gardner is averaging 7.1 points and 3.9 rebounds. Gardner is one possibility to get his first collegiate start in place of Otule. Williams said the Golden Eagles were looking forward to getting some rest after playing the last two away from Milwaukee. Marquette, which plays its next two at the Bradley Center, is averaging 92.7 points while holding teams to 53.7 per game during a 3-0 home start. For Green Bay (4-5), it will be the team's second straight game against a ranked, in-state opponent after it fell 70-42 at No. 14 Wisconsin on Wednesday. The Phoenix shot 32.1 percent and had 16 turnovers. "Each half, we started off with turnovers and it killed us," said coach Brian Wardle, who was the third-leading scorer in Marquette history when he graduated in 2001. "Wisconsin penalized us for that - 21 points off turnovers; we had zero off that. You're going to lose to a really good team in their arena by 25-30 if you do that." Green Bay hasn't helped itself with much hot shooting. It's hitting 39.0 percent from the field, ranking outside the top 300 nationally. Alec Brown, a 7-foot-1 center, had a team-high 10 points Wednesday while Brennan Cougill added six points and eight rebounds off the bench. The 6-foot-9 Cougill, who began his collegiate career at Iowa, is averaging 7.2 points and is second on the team to Brown with 5.9 rebounds per game. The Phoenix lost 89-69 at Marquette last season in the first meeting between the schools since 1996. Marquette guard Vander Blue had 14 points in that victory, and is averaging 10.5 this season.
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