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Marquette quick to forget

MILWAUKEE — It didn't take No. 14 Marquette long to move on from its last loss. About the time it took Darius Johnson-Odom to convert an alley-oop pass for a dunk.

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Johnson-Odom matched a season high with 24 points and led the Golden Eagles to an 81-77 victory over Villanova on Sunday.

Reserve forward Davante Gardner had 13 points and a career-high 10 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (12-2), who responded from their worst performance of the season — a 17-point drubbing by Vanderbilt on Thursday — with a solid start to the Big East season.

"Everybody was down on themselves after the loss, just trying to figure out ways for us to get better," Johnson-Odom said. "And that's what we did the next day. We did a lot of drills, a lot of five-on-five drills and a lot of competing.

"We just have to get back to playing hard, and I think we did that" Sunday.

It took 33 seconds to turn things around, with Vander Blue tossing a pass to a cutting Johnson-Odom at the rim and the senior guard, generously listed at 6 feet 2, throwing it down on Marquette's first offensive possession. The Golden Eagles never trailed from there.

"That was a read," Johnson-Odom said. "That usually doesn't happen for me. But Van made a good play, I finished it off. That is what started our run and gave us more energy."

Mouphtaou Yarou had 14 points for Villanova and JayVaughn Pinkston had a career-high 13. The Wildcats, without a scholarship senior, are off to their worst start in coach Jay Wright's 11 seasons and have lost seven of 10 after starting 4-0.

"They're a good team, a real good team," Wright said.

NO. 1 SYRACUSE 87, DEPAUL 68: Kris Joseph had 22 points for the visiting Orange (15-0, 2-0 Big East), which is four wins shy of tying its best start under coach Jim Boeheim in 1999-2000.

NO. 5 UNC 102, MONMOUTH (N.J.) 65: Former Sickles High standout John Henson scored 21 for the Tar Heels (13-2), who had a 55-26 rebounding edge in their 26th straight win at the Smith Center.

NO. 7 DUKE 85, PENN 55: Ryan Kelly had 18 points and 12 rebounds for the host Blue Devils (12-1), who opened with a 20-4 run.

NO. 18 MICHIGAN 61, MINN. 56: Freshman Trey Burke scored a season-high 27 as the host Wolverines (12-2, 2-0 Big Ten) hung on for their seventh straight victory.

CINCINNATI 66, NO. 22 PITT 63: JaQuon Parker scored a career-high 21 for the visiting Bearcats, who won their sixth straight and handed the Panthers (11-4, 0-2 Big East) their third straight loss.


NO. 6 KENTUCKY 59, UF 56: A'dia Mathies had 14 points as the visiting Wildcats (12-2), who had lost two of three, bounced back in the SEC opener for both teams. The Gators (10-4) shot 32.8 percent and committed 23 turnovers.

NO. 7 TENN. 73, AUBURN 52: Meighan Simmons had 20 points for the visiting Vols (9-3, 1-0 SEC), who closed with a 19-6 run to win their 27th in the past 30 meetings with the Tigers.

NO. 17 GEORGIA 67, ARK. 57: Center Jasmine Hassell had 19 points and the host Bulldogs (12-2) made 10 3-pointers in their SEC opener.

Marquette quick to forget 01/01/12 [Last modified: Sunday, January 1, 2012 10:38pm]
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