Marquette Defeats George Washington, 76-60
Nov. 29, 2013
FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) -- Davante Gardner scored 20 points and had nine rebounds to lead No. 25 Marquette to a 76-60 victory over George Washington University on Friday in the semifinals of the Wooden Legacy.
Marquette (5-2) used a 12-2 run early in the first half to build a double-digit lead, and never trailed.
The Colonials (5-1) tried to stage a couple of comebacks in the second half but never got any closer than 12 points in the second half.
George Washington hurt itself by shooting just 35 percent from the floor, and making just 15 of 25 free throws.
Gardner had 14 of his game-high 20 points, when the Golden Eagles built a 21-point halftime lead. Jake Thomas added 13 points for the Marquette.
The Colonials were led by Kethan Savage and Maurice Creek, who scored 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Gardner led the charge in separating the Golden Eagles from the Colonials in the first half, using his big body to create space in the paint while allowing his outside shooters to get open. The Golden Eagles' leading scorer wasn't shy about taking the ball to the basket either, matching his scoring average of 14 points in the first half.
Taking advantage of a miserable start by the Colonials, the Golden Eagles used a 12-2 run to stretch a three-point lead into a 17-4 advantage.
The Colonials (5-1) went into the game with a 52.1 field goal percentage and 47.1 percent on 3-point shots. In the first 20 minutes against Marquette, the Colonials hit only 8 of 28 field goal attempts (28.6 percent), and were 1 for 7 from 3-point range.
Marquette shot 47 percent from the floor in the first half but was still able to score twice as many field goals as Washington (16-8).
The Golden Eagles got 21 of their first-half points from 3-point range, connecting on 7 of 11 attempts.
The Colonials scored the first two baskets of the second half, but even that wasn't easy. A short jumper by Maurice Creek was disallowed because of an offensive foul that was called on Kethan Savage. The call was changed to a foul against Marquette's Juan Anderson, so Creek was awarded his basket.
The foul on Anderson gave the ball back to George Washington, and Isaiah Armwood scored on the possession to cut Marquette's lead to 46-31.
Creek added a 3-point basket from the top of the key to complete a 9-1 run and get the Colonials to within 13 points.
The closest George Washington got to Marquette was 12 points. That was when McDonald scored on a layup, cutting the Golden Eagles' advantage to 51-39 with 15:20 left in the game.
Marquette stretched its lead back to 18 points when Gardner scored on a layup midway through the second half.
George Washington continued its effort to get back into the contest, and had a chance to trim its deficit to 10 points with 5:51 remaining in the game, but Patricio Garino missed two free throws.
The Colonials made just 16 of 26 from the free throw line for the game.
Marquette Coach Buzz Williams - "I think George Washington is really good. I think they're well coached, I think playing against multiple defenses is always hard to prepare for on a quick turnaround. I thought we did do a good job of contesting their three's, when #1 and #30 get in a rhythm they're a completely different team."
"I haven't studied either team, we have a lot of work to do prior to whenever we play on Sunday. I think it's good for our growth, it's not necessarily good for our record, but we've been gone from Milwaukee since last Saturday. I'm not being soft about it, but we spent a lot of time preparing to play Arizona State, and then we had 48 hours to prepare for Fullerton, and we had 24 hours to prepare for a team that was really excited to play against us. San Diego State is an NCAA Tournament team; Creighton is an NCAA Tournament team. Not to stereotype but San Diego State always has long, really athletic players that play really hard and want to play a high possession game. And from what I've seen about Creighton it's kind of choose which poison you want to swallow and try to spit it out before you have to swallow it."
"I think it's important at any point in time in your life or in your career as a player, as a coach, you can't let a learning opportunity pass by and not grow from it. As much as it was important that we prepare for George Washington, I think it's foolish as a head coach to not make sure we learn lessons from Fullerton, so we did that late last night."
Marquette Forward Davante Gardner - "We just had to come out and play Marquette basketball. We couldn't go out there and worry about George Washington and what they do, we just had to come out and play hard like we always do."
George Washington Coach Mike Lonergan - "We are disappointed with our performance today, especially in the first half but give all credit to Marquette they played harder and obviously they were tougher, and did a great job. We didn't battle like we thought we would, so definitely disappointing and now we have to prepare for a difficult opponent on Sunday."
"We have to get a little tougher, I know they are one of the tougher teams in the country, it's a tribute to their coach they always play hard, our teams usually play hard too but we didn't play physical enough. They manhandled us inside especially Gardner, and also we didn't really score inside, so he didn't have to play much defense. His minutes have been limited this year, we came into the game to try and make him run and he played 35 minutes against and I thought that was a key the battle the center position coming into the game, and they dominated. We have to make shots we have been really shooting well this year, give Marquette a lot credit on defense very good. "
"To be honest I haven't really looked at them for the last 9 days before the tournament, focused on Miami and the last 24 hours really try to prepare for Marquette, and didn't do a good job. I know they are both well coached and very good teams, but we are excited to play some very good teams, that's why we entered this tournament. So I told our guys I would still rather play for 3rd place rather than 8th place. We still have a lot to play for and we were hoping by playing a very good schedule out here it will help us for what it looks like another trip for the Atlantic 10 Conference this year, we will watch the game, and good thing is we get a day off, so Garino to get better and rest his finger, and get ready for Sunday because we know we are going to play a very good team."