Wisconsin’s annual clash with Marquette usually settles state
bragging rights. On Saturday, however, the Badgers find themselves
trying to avoid a second consecutive loss to an intrastate rival as
they host the Golden Eagles.
The 20th-ranked Badgers (6-2) play Marquette (7-2),
Wisconsin-Green Bay and Wisconsin-Milwaukee ahead of Big Ten play
every season. Their first in-state matchup this season came
Wednesday and coach Bo Ryan’s team absorbed its first loss in 16
all-time meetings with Wisconsin-Green Bay, 88-84 in overtime.
Trevon Hughes scored a season-high 27 points before fouling out
and Jon Leuer added 26 and 10 rebounds for Wisconsin, which
committed 18 turnovers and allowed the Phoenix to make 9 of 18 from
“They made some tough twos early, but it was the threes that
really hurt us,” Ryan said. “The turnovers were guys trying to
hurry. We were pushing, trying to make some things happen and some
decisions got scattered.”
While Hughes has averaged 24.3 points in his last three games –
including 26 in a Dec. 2 win over then-No. 6 Duke – he has seven
turnovers over his last two games and has committed at least three
in six games. The senior guard will have to place a premium on
taking care of the ball against a Golden Eagles team that ranks
13th in Division I in steals at 10.8 per game.
“I think he’s playing with more confidence,” Marquette coach
Buzz Williams said of Hughes, averaging a team-high 18.0 points
after scoring 12.1 per game as a junior. “What he’s been able to do
in the third year I’ve been part of this is that he’s gotten
continually better and the number of sentences on the scouting
report has gotten longer.”
Marquette had 13 steals – four by Maurice Acker in his first
start of the season – in Tuesday’s 71-51 victory over
Wisconsin-Milwaukee, ending a two-game losing streak. Jimmy Butler
scored 19 points and Darius Johnson-Odom added 15 off the bench for
the Golden Eagles, who forced 20 turnovers and shot 52.0
Butler is averaging 16.4 points and a team-high 7.8 rebounds
while shooting 62.3 percent. Lazar Hayward, who helped Ryan to a
third-place finish for the United States in the World University
Games at Serbia over the summer, leads the Golden Eagles in scoring
at 18.6 points per game.
“I’m sure coach Ryan will have something up his sleeve because
he’s a great coach and great competitor and I’ll have to be ready
for it,” said Hayward, held to nine points on 3-of-10 shooting in
Marquette’s 61-58 victory over Wisconsin last season.
Highly touted freshman Jeronne Maymon, who averages 4.0 points
and 4.1 rebounds, will make his first appearance in his native
Madison after choosing the Golden Eagles over the Badgers.
Wisconsin leads the 92-year-old rivalry 62-53, but Marquette is
trying for its first three-game winning streak in the series since
a four-game run from 1981-84.