Taylor's 21 lead Wisconsin over Marquette 69-64
Time after time, Marquette players thought they had gotten a defensive stop — only to watch the ball fall back into the hands of a Wisconsin player, meaning they were in for another long stretch of playing defense instead of running away on a fast break.
The Badgers' size advantage and rebounding effort made the difference in Saturday's 69-64 victory over the Golden Eagles for in-state bragging rights.
"I think that kind of takes the air out of the players on the court," Ryan said. "They either foul right away, which is what you've been trying to do anyhow, or they're maybe not quite as aggressive for a while."
Marquette forward Jimmy Butler said the Golden Eagles spent the week emphasizing rebounding, only to get caught looking too many times.
"That's too frustrating," Butler said. "We play great defense for a good 25, 30 (seconds), and then they put up a shot, and we all just turn and watch — knowing that if they get it, they're going to back it back out and play another 25 or 30. And we just seem to not get that in our head that if we don't get the ball, time's ticking away."
The Badgers (8-2) turned their 15-10 edge in offensive rebounding into a 21-9 advantage in second-chance points. Of those 21 points, 16 came in the second half.
"Too many back-breaking second-chance points for them, which means that we're going to guard them 25 more seconds," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "That's limiting our opportunities on offense."
Jordan Taylor scored 21 points to lead Wisconsin, fending off a late Marquette charge with his free-throw shooting.
With the Badgers leading comfortably going into the final 2 minutes, the Golden Eagles made a late charge, cutting the lead to 64-62 on Butler's 3-pointer with 20.3 seconds left. But after having come up empty at the free throw line with 32.6 seconds left, Taylor went 5-for-6 from the line in the final 20 seconds to help put away the game for Wisconsin.
Jon Leuer added 17 points for Wisconsin.
Butler scored 15 for Marquette (7-3). The Badgers held Marquette's Darius Johnson-Odom to eight points, including 1-for-9 shooting.
Marquette got a quiet seven points from guard Vander Blue, a freshman from Madison, Wis., who originally committed to Wisconsin before going to Marquette. Blue was coming off his best game yet, scoring 21 points in a victory over Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on Tuesday night.
"I think it was regular Vander," said Marquette guard Dwight Buycks, who had 13 points. "He wasn't talking about the game. I really didn't hear the Badgers, how they were supposed to talk to him, I didn't hear (any) of that."
Wisconsin is 9-4 in its last 13 games against its in-state rival, though the Golden Eagles had won two of the last three going into Saturday. The Badgers now hold a 64-53 edge.
The Badgers seized control early in the second half with their best player on the bench.
Leuer picked up his third foul with 17:44 left and came out of the came. With Leuer watching from the bench, Wisconsin went on a 12-5 run to take a 48-39 lead with 11:41 remaining.
"That was fun," Leuer said. "I was a cheerleader there on the sidelines for a little bit. It was fun seeing those guys step up and produce for us."
Williams said the Golden Eagles' offense came up short during that stretch.
"Regardless of who was playing, Leuer or not, there were too many empty possessions for us," Williams said.
Leuer returned to the game with 10:41 left and made an immediate impact, driving the lane for a dunk 13 seconds later.
Marquette then tried to rally in the final 2 minutes. Johnson-Odom came up with a steal and a fast-break dunk to cut the lead to 63-57 with 1:55 left. Butler's late 3-pointer made it a game, but Taylor's free-throw shooting put the game away as a critical late Marquette possession ended with a turnover.