State Basketball Roundup: Marquette men's hoops wins conference openerWisconsin Sports
-- The Marquette men’s basketball team won its Big East opener yesterday, beating Connecticut 82-to-76 in overtime.
MILWAUKEE - The Marquette University men’s basketball team won its Big East opener yesterday, beating Connecticut 82-to-76 in overtime.
Junior Cadougan forced the overtime by making a 30-foot shot at the buzzer at the end of regulation. The Golden Eagles then dominated the OT by making all three of its field goal attempts and seven of eight free throws. The officials lined up the teams the wrong way to start the overtime. UConn won the tip, and made the first basket on a goaltending call against Jamil Wilson. The officials then noticed the error, called a team violation against the Huskies, and took the two points off the board – something game official Karl Hess later said he should not have done. It didn’t make a difference in the outcome, though. Cadougan and Davante Gardner led Marquette with 18 points each. Shabazz Napier tied a career-high with 29 points for Connecticut. They fell to 10-3 overall in the first game for Huskies’ coach Kevin Ollie since he signed a five-year contract extension on Saturday.
Assistant Brad Autry was in charge for Marquette, as Buzz Williams served a one-game suspension for NCAA recruiting violations announced last summer. Marquette won its 17th straight home game, and will host Georgetown on Saturday. Tonight, the Marquette women will play at Central Michigan, and the Wisconsin women are at Nebraska.
The Milwaukee Bucks will play their first game of the New Year tonight at home against San Antonio. The Spurs have the NBA’s third-best record at 25-8, with a six-game winning streak on the heels of back-to-back wins over Dallas and Brooklyn on Sunday and Monday nights. Spurs’ guard Tony Parker scored 20 points in just 25 minutes on Monday, in a 29-point San Antonio victory over the Nets. Parker has scored at least 20 in each of his last three games. The Bucks are coming off a Sunday night loss at Detroit, which followed an emotional home win over Miami last Saturday. The Bucks are 16-13, tied for second in the NBA’s Central Division at a game behind first-place Indiana.
Former Marquette forward Lazar Hayward is back with the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. They first acquired the 6-6 Hayward in a draft-night trade in 2010. He was later dealt to Oklahoma City in December of 2011, and spent a season with the Thunder. Hayward was then traded to Houston as part of a deal that sent James Harden to the Rockets. And the Rockets later released Hayward in October. Timberwolves’ coach Rick Adelman says Hayward plays hard – and the move gives Minnesota another strong option at small forward. The 26-year-old Hayward has played 68 games in the NBA over two seasons with the Wolves and Thunder. He has averaged around three points and one rebound in just over eight minutes per game.