1-0: Marquette 91, Mount St. Mary's 37

It doesn't always make for exciting basketball, but when you're facing an inferior opponent there's a lot to be said for stepping on their throat early and removing all doubt.

Marquette was able to do that in their season opener tonight, leading 24-7, 31-9 and 49-16 at times in the first half and never looking back en route to an easy season-opening victory, their eleventh in as many seasons.

This Mount St. Mary's team only won eleven games last season, so they probably wouldn't have presented a significant challenge to a ranked MU squad even at full strength. They played tonight's game, however, without 2010-11 leading scorer Lamar Trice, who is serving a suspension. They looked like a team that had no idea what to do without Trice on the court, and turned the ball over ten times in the game's first ten minutes and 29 times in the game.

Notes and awards to follow, but first we jump.

  • Tonight was the regular season debut for Todd Mayo, Derrick Wilson and Jamil Wilson. Mayo had three points, three rebounds and an assist, D. Wilson had two points, three boards and three assisteses, and J. Wilson went for two points and five rebounds.
  • It also would have been Juan Anderson's Bradley Center debut, but earlier today he was suspended for three games for accepting a Brewer ticket as a gift. He'll be eligible to return for the second game of the Paradise Jam.
  • If you're looking for something to complain about tonight, The Mount's offensive rebounding success is a little concerning. An undersized, undermanned Mountaineer squad beat Buzz's boys 15-10 on the offensive glass. Seven of Danny Thompson's game-high eleven rebounds were on the offensive end.
  • Tonight's 54 point margin of victory was larger than any of Marquette's 22 wins last season. Tonight's 91 points were MU's most since last January's win over DePaul.
Jimmy Butler Player of the Game: This one was over early, but Jae Crowder's 14 first half points helped get it to that point. He didn't score in the second half, but he didn't need to. DJO eventually passed him with 16 points in the game, but the game was significantly out of hand before his outburst really got going.

Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle of the Game: Junior Cadougan wasn't a big part of the scoring early tonight, but he did finish with 12 and tied a career high with ten assists. Not bad for a guy we weren't sure would start.

Smoothing the Davante "Big Smooth" Gardner Smoothest Smooth Play Of the Smooth Game: Jamail Jones got his 2011-12 season off to a nice start, and two of his eight first half points came on a thunderous dunk. So the inaugural award goes to him.

Up Next: The early-season gauntlet continues on Monday when Norfolk State comes to the Bradley Center. The Spartans will be playing their first game of the year and looking to improve upon last year's 12-20 record and sixth place finish in the MEAC. I'm sure Rubie will be thrilled to hear that this broadcast is also scheduled for Time Warner Cable Sports 32 and an early 6 pm start.
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