Marquette falls to Wisconsin 69-64

Offensive rebounding was the story of the second half as Marquette fell to Wisconsin-Madison 69-64 for its first home loss of the season.

The Badgers (8-2) owned a 15-10 advantage on the offensive glass, really taking over in the second half and pulling down 12 boards. The “backbreaking” rebounds not only ate up the clock, but also led to 21 second-chance points for UW-Madison, compared to nine for Marquette.

“In the second half, they had 12 offensive rebounds and scored 30 percent of their points on second-chance points,” coach Buzz Williams said. “That’s tough.

“When you hold a team to 39 percent shooting, it should be a game. But too many backbreaking second half points for them, which means we have to guard them for 35 more seconds, which limits our opportunities on offense.”

Senior forward Jimmy Butler led the Golden Eagles (7-3) with 15 points in 37 minutes, including a 2-of-3 performance from long distance.

Marquette was only down three, 67-64, with seven seconds to go and had an opportunity to tie the game after UW-Madison guard Jordan Taylor missed the back end of a one-and-one, but senior guard Dwight Buycks lost control of the ball as he crossed half court, and Marquette never got the opportunity to tie it up.

Buycks finished the game with 13 points, three rebounds and three assists in his first game back from an ankle injury that kept him out of Tuesday’s game against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

Taylor’s 21 points for the Badgers were a game high, with senior forward Jon Leuer chipping in 17 for UW-Madison.

Marquette was not able to take advantage of Leuer’s absence in the second half when he went to the bench with three early fouls. UW-Madison extended its lead from two to seven in the seven minutes Leuer sat on the bench.

Marquette only led once in the game, an early 5-4 lead off a Butler three, and trailed from the 12:20 mark in the first half onward. UW-Madison led by two at the half and as many as 12 in the second half.

Junior guard Darius Johnson-Odom failed to score in double figures, making only one two-point basket and going 1-of-9 from the field. Johnson-Odom finished with eight points, six of which came from the free throw line.

It was the second consecutive year the Badgers came out on top in the in-state rivalry, and the first time it beat Marquette on the road since 2006.

The loss puts Marquette’s NCAA Tournament hopes in jeopardy early on in the season, as the Golden Eagles have yet to beat a quality non-conference opponent.