MILWAUKEE (AP)—The two teams might share the same hometown. But when it comes to speed and quickness, Marquette proved that it resides in a decidedly different neighborhood than Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Caught in what was shaping up as a close game at halftime, the 15th-ranked Golden Eagles (3-0) used their defensive quickness and fast-break speed to run away with a 100-80 victory over the crosstown rival Panthers on Saturday.
“I’m asking them to play like junkyard dogs on defense,” first-year Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. “And then on offense, I’m asking them to run really, really fast once we secure the defensive rebound. And we want to take the best shot we can—as soon as we can.”
Wesley Matthews and Lazar Hayward scored 25 points each, and Jerel McNeal added 22. It was the 1,400th victory in school history for Marquette, making the Golden Eagles the 50th program to reach that plateau.
Marquette opened the second half with a 10-0 run and never looked back, providing a tough end to a rough week for Wisconsin-Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter.
Jeter’s father, former Green Bay Packers standout Bob Jeter, died Thursday. The crowd observed a moment of silence before the game.
Jeter was reflective afterward, recalling a few of his favorite childhood memories of his father—and the lessons he learned.
“The biggest thing is to compete, one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned,” Jeter said. “I just wanted our guys to come out and compete tonight.”
And they did, if just for a half.
Wisconsin-Milwaukee (3-2) shot 50 percent and held the lead for much of the first half, only to watch Marquette put together an 8-2 run going into halftime for a 45-40 lead.
The Panthers also began to get into foul trouble, as guards Ricky Franklin and Avery Smith each picked up their third fouls in the final minute of the half.
“Such an emotional game for us, and I’m on one end, trying to beg for some of those calls—and they call it on us,” Jeter said. “I wanted to ask the guy, ‘Wait a second here, I was talking about the other team, not my team.”’
Marquette then jumped out to a 10-0 run immediately after halftime, including back-to-back layups by McNeal—one of which came off a steal at the other end of the court—a three-point play on a layup by Matthews and a 3-pointer by Dominic James.
“We’re one of the hardest teams in the nation to guard on the break,” McNeal said. “Once we get a stop defensively, we’re allowing ourselves a great opportunity to score on the other end very quickly.”
Wisconsin-Milwaukee answered with a pair of free throws and a 3-pointer by Tone Boyle to cut the lead to 55-45, but the Panthers never got closer the rest of the way.
“We knew they were one of the quickest, most athletic set of guards in the country,” said Boyle, who led the Panthers with 23 points. “We didn’t stop penetration like we wanted. They got around us and finished their layups.”
Jeter’s frustration eventually boiled over, and he was called for a technical foul with 11:45 left in the game.
Jeter was composed but acknowledged his emotions after the game, noting that he appreciated the moment of silence because he “didn’t get a chance to say goodbye.”
He thanked family and friends for their encouragement and memories of his father as a nice, courteous man who smiled a lot.
“And through it all, he was fierce,” Jeter said.