Burton steals Marquette Madness with dunk contest

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Photo by Mike Cianciolo

Deonte Burton repeated as Marquette Madness Dunk Champion Friday night. (Photo by Mike Cianciolo / michael.cianciolo@marquette.edu)

The house was packed at the Al McGuire Center as the Marquette women’s and men’s teams basketball teams participated in the 2014 Marquette Madness.

The women’s team began the event with coach and player introductions, along with dance routine to pop hits over the last 30 years.

The women’s basketball scrimmage was a chance to catch a glimpse at the starting point guard situation. With the transfers of Brooklyn Pumroy and Ashley Santos to Louisiana Tech, freshman point guards Tia Elbert and Hannah Grim showed they have the skillset to transition into the season with ease. Elbert dazzled the crowd with a no-look fastbreak pass up the court and an behind-the-back pass, each for easy scores. Grim finished with eight points, including a two three-pointers. Senior Cristina Bigica led all scorers with 10 points in the exhibition match.

The men’s team followed with a speech from new head coach, Steve Wojciechowski. Chants of “Wojo” careened down from the sold out gym before he could even talk. The fire alarm then went off in the middle of his speech from the smoke created during player introductions, causing Marquette’s play-by-play announcer to say his speech was, “so hot you set the fire alarm off”.

With the fire alarms blaring and athletics tending to a rim broken during warmups, the event eventually continued with the dunk contest.

This season’s event was a massive improvement from much maligned contest from last season. Judged by President Lovell, former walk-on Rob Frozena, and new Milwaukee Bucks draft pick Jabari Parker, junior Wally Ellenson and sophomore Deonte Burton stole the show in the first round of dunks. Ellenson advanced through the one-dunk round with a reverse dunk from a behind-the-back pass to himself. Burton advanced with an ally-oop, left handed dunk off the side of the backboard. Burton eventually won in the two dunk final with a left handed dunk off a pass by the entrance of the arena from freshman Sandy Cohen. Burton scored a perfect 30 points on every dunk in the competition.

The dunk contest set the tone for the 10 minute scrimmage. Redshirt freshman lead the way offensively with eight points on three-for-four shooting. Senior Juan Anderson and senior Derrick Wilson each finished with three steals each. Graduate student Matt Carlino finished with seven points in his Marquette debut.

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