Marquette 72, Bucknell 61

Dwight Buycks scored 17 points, big freshman Davante Gardner
added 11 points and both were keys in a 24-0 second-half run to
help Marquette beat Bucknell 72-61 on Sunday.

Bucknell (0-2) led 57-45 on a free throw by Joe Willman with
10:32 left, but Marquette (2-0) used a withering full-court press
and started hitting shots while the Bison fell apart in the closing
minutes of the regional game in the CBE Classic.

Bryson Johnson led Bucknell with 18 points on six 3-pointers,
but the Bison went nearly 9 minutes without a point.

Marquette has two more home games before traveling to face No. 1
Duke in Kansas City, Mo., in the tournament on Nov. 22.

The Golden Eagles were picked in the middle of the pack in the
Big East Conference despite five straight NCAA tournament
appearances. They’ll need to play much better to have a chance of
topping the Blue Devils.

Bucknell, picked to finish second in the Patriot League, went 15
of 22 from the field in the first half, but Marquette’s defense
held them to 27.6 percent shooting in the second half while forcing
18 turnovers.

One of Bucknell’s top threats, Mike Muscala, picked up his
fourth foul with 13:31 left and things started to unravel a few
minutes later. The Bison missed 11 straight shots as Buycks scored
seven points and the 290-pound Gardner added eight in the run.

Gardner’s tip-in with just under 6 minutes to play gave
Marquette a 58-57 lead, its first in nearly 17 minutes, and it grew
from there.

Buycks hit two free throws and Gardner added another to give
Marquette a 69-57 lead with 1:41 to play.

By the time G.W. Boon hit a free throw and a 3-pointer to end
the run, Bucknell was down by too much with too little time
left.

Every time Marquette would tie the game early, Bucknell had an
answer. At 30-30, Johnson hit back-to-back 3-pointers and added one
more in the closing seconds to give the Bison a 41-33 halftime
lead.

It was Bucknell’s first game in the state of Wisconsin and the
only previous matchup with a school in the state came in the second
round of the NCAA tournament in 2005. Bucknell lost that game, but
is most remembered for its stunning first-round upset of
Kansas.