MU defense snowed under

The Marquette coaching staff knew Rutgers' Quincy Douby was going to be good. The junior guard entered the game leading the Big East in scoring, averaging 25.6 points in conference contests and 24.0 points overall. That was good for eighth best in all of Division I basketball.

For that reason his game-high 32 points on Sunday was no surprise. However, the Golden Eagles were shocked by the play of his teammates in the low post.

Thanks to a porous defense that could not stop the Scarlet Knights on either the perimeter or interior, Marquette (16-8, 6-5 Big East) fell 91-84 in Piscataway, N.J.

"We made highlight reels for their inside guys, a little bit, with the way that they played," Marquette head coach Tom Crean said during his post-game radio show. It was "not our best day defensively and we've got to get that shored up here in a very short period of time as we go home for two huge games."

Marquette will play No. 17 Georgetown Thursday and two days later face No. 9 Pittsburgh, both at the Bradley Center.

The Golden Eagles did not play horrible in the paint against the Scarlet Knights: They out rebounded Rutgers 38-36 and had just as many points in the paint (28). Yet Marquette's inability to flex its inside muscle against a depleted Rutgers frontcourt (forwards JR Inman and Adrian Hill missed the game because of injuries) was alarming when taken into account what's up next.

Roy Hibbert, Georgetown's 7-foot-2 center, dominated Shelden Williams when the Hoyas toppled Duke earlier in the season. Pittsburgh boasts Aaron Gray who grabbed 20 rebounds and scored 13 points when the Panthers defeated Marquette 77-71 on Jan. 28.

Sunday's loss was Marquette's third straight road defeat, a streak that started in Pittsburgh and continued at Villanova.

In both games, the Golden Eagles grabbed a commanding early lead but wilted under the pressure. Against Rutgers, Marquette jumped out to the lead in the first half once again, leading by as many as nine with 4:19 to play in the first half.

This time the Golden Eagles' chances of preserving that lead looked much better. There was no rowdy crowd due to a blizzard that dumped a foot of snow on the region. Rutgers reported 2,012 fans showed up for the game.

It did not matter. Rutgers outscored Marquette 10-1 to close out the first half and tie the game.

"In the last 4:19 we scored one point," Crean said. "We didn't create contact. We certainly would have liked to go to the foul line, but we didn't create the contact."

Freshman Anthony Farmer scored all 14 of his points in the second half while Douby pitched in 18 points over the course of the final 20 minutes to secure the win.