Golden Eagles defeat Rutgers 82-59

Jimmy Butler scored 16 points and hauled down eight rebounds in Marquette's 82-59 win over Rutgers.

It was a familiar storyline at the Bradley Center Tuesday night as the Marquette Golden Eagles shot lights out and feasted on Big East bottom-feeder Rutgers, 82-59.

Darius Johnson-Odom and Maurice Acker made back-to-back 3-pointers to start the game and that was just the beginning of another stellar shooting night from the nation’s best 3-point shooting team.

The Golden Eagles made 9-of-17 3-pointers and shot 47.7 percent from the field for the game.

“We’re not selfish at all,” junior forward Joe Fulce said. “Everybody’s trying to get the best open look and we all have confidence in our teammates and whenever we see them open we try to make the defense shift as much as possible, because we have confidence in our shots.”

Marquette went into halftime leading 44-21 but the Scarlet Knights came out firing after the break, making eight of their first nine  shots, but the closest they came was 14 the rest of the game.

“When you’re down and you try to come back everything has to be exactly perfect,” Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. “We claw back … we get it down to 14 and we make a run and they call a timeout.”

Johnson-Odom scored 11 second-half points and made several key baskets to stop Rutgers’ momentum.

Acker, who came into the game shooting an astounding 77 percent from beyond the arc in Big East play, made his first four 3’s of the game and finished with 14 points. He also chipped in five assists.

“His note today was ‘I’m glad that it has turned out the way that it has,’” coach Buzz Williams said about the senior guard. “Nobody would have ever guessed it and that includes me … I told him, I want you to play with the same edge on defense that you play on offense.”

Rutgers (9-11, 0-8 Big East) went 8-for-24 in the first half on 33.3 percent shooting. Guard Mike Rosario paced the Scarlet Knights with 16 points.

Fulce tied a career-high with 13 points and knocked down his only 3-point attempt.

Senior forward Lazar Hayward notched a double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. He became the third player in school history to record at least 1,600 points and 800 rebounds.

An emotional Williams sported a baby blue suit coat in honor of the late Marquette coach Al McGuire, who passed away nine years to the date.