Hot Start Vaults Marquette to Victory over Islanders

Hot Start Vaults Marquette to Victory over Islanders
MILWAUKEE, Wis. - Marquette used a red-hot start out of the gate to jump out to a big early lead and held the Texas A&M - Corpus Christi men's basketball team at bay in an 86-50 victory on Tuesday night at the Bradley Center. Demond Watt had a strong second-half effort, finishing with 17 points and eight boards for the Islanders (3-6). Freshman phenom Vander Blue scored 21 points for the Golden Eagles (7-2).

Justin Reynolds had 10 boards to go along with nine points in the loss, while adding four assists as well. Marquette put five players in double figures, with Jae Crowder and Jimmy Butler each scoring 15.

After Marquette's impressive start, the Islanders were able to string together a 12-5 run, highlighted by eight points by Reynolds, including a pair of three-pointers from the top of the key. The Golden Eagles countered with a 5-0 run, but this time it was Garland Judkins putting a stop to it, draining a three to make it 35-17. But Marquette had another rally in the bag, running off 13 straight points to end the half with a 31-point advantage.

The Islanders came strong out of the locker room, using a pair of threes from Terence Jones and four points from Watt to kick off a 13-6 rally. Jawan Nelson capped it off by swishing a triple to make it 54-30 at the 14:31 mark. Marquette, though, again was able to respond, delivering the knockout blow with a 19-6 run to pull ahead 73-36.

Watt responded by engineering a 5-0 run on his own, as he scored nine straight Islanders points at one juncture. Hollis Hill added a nice play after an MU bucket, using a shot fake to get his defender in the air, then drawing a foul to head to the line and hit two free throws to make it 75-43. Blue then caught fire, scoring eight straight points in the game. Jaamon Echols snapped that with five straight Islanders points as Texas A&M - Corpus Christi outscored the Golden Eagles 7-5 in the closing minutes to result in the final score.

Marquette's defense was stellar out of the gate, forcing seven Islander turnovers and holding Texas A&M - Corpus Christi to 1-for-9 shooting from the field in the first 8:37. On the other side, Marquette came out scorching from the floor, hitting 11 of their first 17, to open up a 25-4 lead early on. A Reynolds three-ball stopped the bleeding for the Islanders.

The Islanders will now be off for 11 days as finals take place at the Island University. The next game will be Saturday, Nov. 18, when the Islanders play host to Houston at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center. That game features the Holiday Hoops Family Four Pack, which allows fans to get four seats in the courtside section for just $28. Fans can call 825-BALL to purchase tickets today.