MILWAUKEE (AP) -- In preparation for his team's game against West
Virginia, Marquette coach Tom Crean spliced together footage of all
20 of the 3-point shots the Mountaineers made in a blowout victory
over the Golden Eagles last season.
Marquette responded by holding No. 21 West Virginia to 5-for-22
shooting from 3-point range on Saturday, then turned the resulting
long rebounds into transition baskets in an 81-63 victory.
"We never wanted to stop running," Crean said.
Dominic James snapped out of his shooting slump to score 21
points for Marquette (15-4, 2-2), which dropped out of the national
rankings last week after losing its first two Big East conference
games to unranked opponents.
The Golden Eagles rebounded with a victory at No. 24 Connecticut
on Wednesday night, and now have won two straight against ranked
The Mountaineers (13-3, 3-2) had their first conference loss at
Notre Dame on Tuesday night to snap an eight-game winning streak
and now have lost two straight on the road. West Virginia coach
John Beilein said it's only natural that his young team will
struggle at times.
"We're going to have some games like this, and we're going to
have to suck it up and try to play better," Beilein said.
Frank Young scored 11 to lead West Virginia.
"We haven't played with poise," Young said. "We're not
playing well under pressure. We let the crowd get into it."
The Golden Eagles' 81-point performance was the most points the
Mountaineers have given up all season
West Virginia was the Big East's best defensive team coming into
Saturday's game, giving up an average of only 51.8 points.
Saturday's game was only the third time this season the
Mountaineers had given up more than 61 points.
The scoring eruption meant that Marquette finally solved a zone
defense -- a major problem in the Golden Eagles' 0-2 start in
conference play. After struggling against 2-3 zone defenses in
losses at Providence and to Syracuse at home, the Golden Eagles
moved the ball more and took better shots against West Virginia's
Crean said his young players have had a hard time trying to find
good shots against zones.
"It's hard," Crean said. "We're living proof of that the last
Outscoring West Virginia 24-10 on fast break points didn't hurt,
"Every opportunity we got, we tried to push it and not let them
set up their (zone)," James said.
James was 8-for-17 from the field after going 11-for-41 in
Marquette's previous three games -- including 2-for-20 from 3-point
range. James was 2-for-4 from 3-point range on Saturday.
Freshman David Cubillan added 14 and was 4-for-4 from 3-point
range. Beilein acknowledged James' improved shooting, but said
Cubillan really disrupted his team's defense.
"Cubillan's 4-for-4 is like having Novak out there," Beilein
said, referring to sweet-shooting former Marquette star Steve
West Virginia's 5-for-22 performance from 3-point range was a
stunning change from last season's 104-85 victory over Marquette.
It's still the only time West Virginia has passed the 100-point
mark in regulation in four-plus seasons under Beilein.
West Virginia closed within nine on a 3-pointer by De'Sean
Butler with 12:15 remaining Saturday, but Marquette used a 10-0 run
to pull away from the Mountaineers.
- Tim Higgins
- Joe Lindsay
- Jeff Clark