Marquette wins 25th straight game
Buzz Williams liked how Marquette won - again.
Jamil Wilson tied his career-high with 19 points and Chris Otule added a season-high 16 on 8-of-8 shooting to help No. 22 Marquette beat No. 21 Notre Dame 72-64 on Saturday, the Golden Eagles' 25th consecutive home win.
''I have been disappointed in our team zero times in their attitude,'' the Golden Eagles coach said. ''I think it is the reason we have won (this whole time) is because of our attitude.
Marquette's bench outscored Notre Dame's 32-20.
''When all 10 of our guys show up, then it becomes really difficult for me to get guys in and out,'' Williams said. ''I am not taking Jamil out when he is playing as well as he is. I am not taking Chris out when he is playing as well as he is. I am not taking Davante (Gardner) out when he is playing as well as he is. That is the kind of problem I want to have.''
Wilson scored 17 points in the second half, including seven down the stretch, for the Golden Eagles (21-7, 12-4 Big East). His two free throws were the final points in the game.
Jack Cooley, Notre Dame's leading scorer, had his minutes limited due to illness. He was 0 for 1 from the field and had one rebound in 15 minutes.
After the game, Notre Dame coach Mike Brey doubted himself about Cooley.
''Jack was in the infirmary,'' Brey said. ''He didn't practice the last two days. We got him off an IV yesterday. In hindsight, I wonder if I should have brought him on this trip. (He had a) virus flu. He wanted to try it and, obviously, he just wasn't there.''
Cooley started the second half, but was no match against Otule and Gardner.
''The second half, I just said forget it,'' Brey said. ''Let's get him home and get him healthy for Tuesday.''
The Golden Eagles' home streak is the second-longest active streak in the nation. South Dakota State's 30-game run was the best coming into Saturday's action. The Golden Eagles are 16-0 at home in 2012-13.
The Irish rallied from a 16-point deficit in the first half while the Golden Eagles went 5 minutes without a field goal. Zach Auguste's dunk pulled Notre Dame within 59-51 with 4:36 left.
Wilson's three-point play kept the Irish from getting any closer.
It was the 117th meeting and possibly the last regular-season conference game between the schools. Both are exploring multiple options for the 2013-14 academic year.
With Marquette ahead 41-27, Otule scored twice to open the second half, muscling his way through the paint. He banked in a shot and then made a hook shot along the baseline to give Marquette a 16-point lead.
''He has good footwork in the post, and he buried us a couple times,'' Brey said of Otule.
Marquette led 41-27 at halftime after shooting 64.3 percent from the field and holding the Irish to 37 percent. The second half was more of the same, thanks to Wilson and Otule. The Golden Eagles ended the game shooting 59.6 percent while Notre Dame was at 38.3 percent.
Otule had 10 points in the first half on 5-of-5 shooting. He hit a short jumper after working his way down the lane with 2:52 remaining and gave Marquette its second 16-point lead. Atkins' 3-pointer brought the Irish to 39-27, but Vander Blue's fastbreak layup off a steal were the last two points of the half.
Atkins, who had eight points in the first half, kept Notre Dame close in the second. His 3-pointer and three free throws and Tom Knight's putback off an Atkins' miss pulled the Irish to 56-46 with 9:20 remaining. A free throw by Grant cut the lead to nine with 7:30 to play.