December 12, 2009

Revisiting recent Wisconsin-Marquette tilts

MADISON, Wis. - As both Wisconsin and Marquette have risen to national prominence over the past decade, the two schools, separated by just over an hour stretch of Interstate 94, have had some impressive editions to its rivalry.

When these two teams meet Saturday at the Bradley Center, it will be the final time the Golden Eagles will see the UW guard combo of Trevon Hughes and Jason Bohannon. It will also be the final time the Badgers are greeted by the Golden Eagles versatile big man Lazar Hayward and his fellow guards Maurice Acker and David Cubillan.

Today, takes a trip down memory lane as it revisits the past five UW-Marquette match-ups.

Marquette at No. 10 Wisconsin
Date: Dec. 20, 2003.
Final score: 63-59 Wisconsin
Top performer(s): Travis Diener- 19 points, Alando Tucker- 17 points, Devin Harris- 15 points.

Quick recap:

Alando Tucker made his first start of the season after recovering from his broken foot and paced the Badgers with a 17-point performance. Still, that outing, along with a 15-point effort from Badger great Devin Harris was barely enough for the four-point win over upset-minded Marquette.

Golden Eagles junior Travis Diener hit four 3-pointers in the game and helped his team draw even with the powerful Badgers at the break. In fact, it was not until Tucker's bucket with 45 seconds left that gave the Badgers a three-point edge, one Marquette was unable to overcome. Sophomore Steve Novak shorted a 3-point attempt with less than 15 seconds to play that would have tied the game. Instead, Tucker hauled in the rebound and made one free throw to seal the Badger win.

Overall, UW won the game on only 39 percent shooting, including a dismal 1-for-12 performance from distance.

No. 24 Wisconsin at Marquette
Date: Dec. 11, 2004.
Final score: 63-54 Marquette
Top performer(s): Travis Diener- 29 points, five rebounds, two assists.

Quick recap:

Despite battling a nagging ankle injury, Diener scored 29 points against a Badger squad that was without the full services of Mike Wilkinson. The UW senior was bothered by a lingering lower leg injury and was limited to just two points in 23 minutes of play. At one point, Diener, who scored 10 of Marquette's first 12 points, had 21 points to the Badgers 23. After starting the second half with back-to-back 3's, the senior had pushed Marquette's lead to 40-23. The Badgers tried to mount a monstrous comeback, and had actually cut the lead to six with 5 minutes to play, but was unable to get over the top.

But really, the story of the game was centered on the glass. The Golden Eagles out-rebounded UW by an astounding 44-28 margin and never gave UW an opportunity for second chance points as it limited the Badgers to only four offensive rebounds.

Marquette at Wisconsin
Date: Dec. 10, 2005
Final score: 77-63 Wisconsin
Top performer(s): Kammron Taylor- 18 points, Ray Nixon- 15 points.

Quick recap:

UW head coach Bo Ryan notched his 100th victory at Wisconsin and the Badgers coasted to an easy 14-point win. After jumping out to an early 21-11 lead, the Badgers got hot, going on a 23-10 run to finish the half and held a 44-21 lead at the break.

Even though Tucker was held to just eight points on 2-for-8 shooting and battled foul trouble throughout, the Badgers were never really tested inside the friendly confines of the Kohl Center. Guard Kammron Taylor had a game high 18 points and Ray Nixon chipped in 15 of his own.

For Marquette, Novak paced the scoring with 14 points and was followed by Dominic James' 10-point game. The win was the Badgers 24th straight win at home and boosted its all-time series lead to 61-51.

No. 12 Wisconsin at No. 20 Marquette
Date: Dec. 9, 2006
Final score: 70-66 Wisconsin
Top performer(s): Alando Tucker- 28 points, Dominic James- 19 points.

Quick recap:

In his fifth game against bitter rival Marquette, Tucker saved his best performance for last. The veteran led all scorers with 28 points, including some key plays down the stretch to help his team fend off a determined Golden Eagles squad.

With the Badgers leading by 10 with just under four minutes to play, Tucker, as well as the rest of his teammates, saw Marquette mount a furious comeback that cut the Badger lead down to four with under 90 seconds to play. However, the eventual senior player of the year converted a lay-up after a nifty baseline move to give UW a six-point edge and eventual four-point win.

Taylor chipped in 13 points and sophomore Marcus Landry added 11 of his own. Even though the Badgers committed a season high 22 turnovers and James and Jerel McNeal scored 19 and 16 points respectively, the Badgers left Milwaukee with a big, and more importantly, satisfying win.

No. 24 Marquette at No. 5 Wisconsin
Date: Dec. 8, 2007
Final score: 81-76 Marquette
Top performer(s): Dominic James- 20 points, Brian Butch- 17 points, Trevon Hughes- 16 points.

Quick recap:

The Badgers, as well as the Kohl Center faithful, saw an opposing team leave the floor victorious for the first time in 28 chances after Marquette upset the Badgers by five in early December. James scored a game-high 20 points as the Golden Eagles, although going with a smaller, guard-oriented line up, out-rebounded the much bigger Badgers, 41-34.

After trading buckets for the majority of the first half, Marquette went into the visiting locker room with a slim two-point lead. However, it was the Badgers that came out with the hot hand as it went on a quick 9-3 run to start the second half and jump out to a 50-46 lead. At that time, Hughes and James got into a little scuffle after a physical play and the momentum swung into Marquette's favor following the intense confrontation.

McNeal added 14 points to compliment James and Dwight Burke's 12 points and Lazar Hayward's 11 points rounded out Marquette's double-digit scorers. It was the Golden Eagles first win in Madison since 1997 and only its third win in the schools previous 10 meetings.

No. 22 Wisconsin at Marquette
Date: Dec. 6, 2008
Final Score: 61-58 Marquette
Top performer(s): Jerel McNeal- 26 points, seven rebounds. Trevon Hughes- 14 points, three assists.

Quick Recap:

Wisconsin jumped out to an early lead during the first half of the game at the Bradley Center. In fact, with a Keaton Nankivil three, UW opened a double-digit lead.

But, with the trio of guards Marquette had a season ago, it was fairly obvious that the lead would not hold up if one of them started to get it going. And that is exactly what Jerel McNeal did.

In total, the senior guard scored a game-high 26 points, but 19 of them came in the second half. With his team still trailing in the second half, McNeal lead a 12-5 charge to tie the game. Then, he hit a go-ahead three with just over five minutes left in the contest.

Though UW tried valiantly to storm back, Marquette was just strong and focused enough to keep them on the short side of the 61-58 final score. As a result, Marquette is riding a two-game winning streak in the series.

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