Marquette falls just short
Da’Sean Butler’s 20-foot jumper with 2 seconds left lifted the sixth-ranked Mountaineers to a 63-62 victory over Marquette on Tuesday night.
West Virginia (11-0, 2-0 Big East) overcame a five-point deficit in the final minute and its lowest point total of the season to improve to its best start since a Jerry West-led team won 14 straight to begin the 1957-58 season.
Butler fouled out of a blowout loss at Marquette last season but this time kept the Mountaineers in a game in which they trailed for most of the second half. He scored eight of his 17 points over the final 12 minutes.
His performance prompted Marquette coach Buzz Williams to call Butler “the best player in the league.”
Lazar Hayward paced Marquette with 24 points. His three-point play started a 10-5 run and Dwight Buycks’ basket with 4:53 left gave Marquette its largest lead of the second half, 59-53.
Marquette (9-4, 0-1) had a 62-57 lead after a free throw by Darius Johnson-Odom with 1:02 left, but the Golden Eagles didn’t score again.
After Johnson-Odom missed the front end of a 1-and-1, Devin Ebanks, who led West Virginia with 19 points, went the length of the court and dunked with 16 seconds left to pull the Mountaineers within 62-61.
Marquette’s Jimmy Butler missed another 1-and-1 with 11 seconds left, and the Mountaineers made him pay.
Butler rebounded Butler’s miss, dribbled the length of the court, turned around on the top right side of the key and buried a long jumper with his foot on the three-point line.
After a timeout, Joe Mazzulla intercepted a long pass at the other end of the court.
Big Ten men
-- Minnesota 75, Penn State 70—At Minneapolis, Lawrence Westbrook won a terrific duel with Talor Battle, tying his career high with 29 points to lead Minnesota to victory in a Big Ten opener.
Battle had 23 points, six rebounds and four assists for the Nittany Lions (8-5, 0-1).
Westbrook, a senior guard for the Gophers (10-3, 1-0), tied a career high with four three-pointers.
-- (4) Purdue 67, Iowa 56—At Iowa City, Iowa,
E’Twaun Moore scored 21 points, 15 in the second half, and the Boilermakers (12-0,
1-0 Big Ten) beat Iowa (5-8,
0-1) for its best start in 16
Glenn “Big Dog” Robinson led Purdue to a school-record 14-0 start in 1993-94.
Big Ten notes
-- Indiana freshman guard Maurice Creek, the Hoosiers’ top scorer at 17.6 points per game, on Monday night fractured his left knee. He was scheduled for surgery Tuesday in Indianapolis and likely will miss the rest of the season.
n Illinois junior guard Alex Legion is leaving the team and will transfer to another school.
Legion, who is from Detroit, played 33 games for the Illini, totaling 107 points.
-- Suspended Iowa guard Anthony Tucker has pleaded guilty to public intoxication following his arrest last week.
Johnson County District Court officials said that Tucker entered his plea Monday, though they could not confirm sentencing details Tuesday. The Gazette in Cedar Rapids reported that Tucker will pay $195 in fines and fees.
Tucker was arrested by Iowa City police last week. Police say the 20-year-old Tucker, the team’s second-leading scorer, accused the driver of taking his cell phone and allegedly was hitting the side of the cab.
The sophomore also pleaded guilty to public intoxication in December 2008. Last January, Tucker was ruled academically ineligible to play but returned to the Hawkeyes this season.
Last updated: 12:04 pm Thursday, December 13, 2012