Marquette blasts Maryland-Baltimore County 79-46
MILWAUKEE (AP) -- The sky is the limit for Jamil Wilson. Just as long as he wants to reach it, according to Marquette coach Buzz Williams.
Wilson played another brilliant game Monday in leading Marquette to a 79-46 victory over Maryland-Baltimore County.
The junior forward finished with 15 points for the Golden Eagles (5-1), and has now shot 14 of 17, or 82.4 percent, in his last two games. In Marquette's 72-64 victory over USC on Wednesday, Wilson had a career-high 19 points coming off the bench.
"He's a good player," Williams said. "When his talent and heart are on the same page, he's really, really good. When he's relying strictly on his talent, then that's what he looks like. He just looks like a really good athlete that doesn't play hard enough to win. But when his heart and his talent are on the same page, he's really good. Maybe as good as any that we've had at that spot as his career unfolds.
"But he's got to play really hard. When he plays really hard, then he can be like some of his predecessors. When he doesn't play hard, he's not any good."
Davante Gardner, Marquette's leading scorer, finished with 13 points and five steals.
The Golden Eagles' second-leading scorer, Vander Blue, did not play because of a knee injury.
That didn't stop Marquette from using a 37-5 run in the second half. The Golden Eagles shot 71.4 percent in the final 20 minutes, which included a stretch of 10 straight baskets.
"Once that took place, we never recovered from it emotionally," UMBC coach Aki Thomas said.
UMBC (1-4) lost its third game in a row and was led by Chase Plummer's 12 points.
Marquette, coming off a fifth-place finish in the EA Sports Maui Invitational and with a battle at No. 7 Florida looming on Thursday, caught fire in the final 16 minutes to pull away.
The Golden Eagles made 16 of their first 19 shots of the half to turn the fourth meeting between the two teams into a rout.
Marquette trailed 31-30 with 16:52 remaining when they went on its 37-5 run, with most of the scoring coming from inside the paint. In fact, 28 of the team's 51 second-half points came in the pain.
To erase its one-point deficit, Marquette scored 10 field goals in a row and 17 of the next 19 points. The 10th straight basket, a 3-pointer by Jake Thomas, gave the Golden Eagles a 54-36 lead with 9:36 left.
After a 3-point play by UMBC's Ryan Cook, Marquette scored 20 unanswered points for a 67-36 lead with 6:48 to play. The key was aggressively attacking the Retrievers' zone press.
"I think we were too passive in the first half," said Thomas, who added 12 points. "That's why we didn't score as much and I think that we attacked. We looked for the first open shot. And if we didn't have it, we waited for a better look."
"I think we were over-thinking it. They ran a couple different zones. I don't know what the problem was. We were just over-thinking it. It's not hard to break if we attack it."
At halftime, Marquette held a 28-24 lead when UMBC scored seven of the first nine points.
UMBC got a 3-pointer from Brian Neller and a basket by Brett Roseboro for a 31-30 lead with 16:52 remaining. The Retrievers would get just five points in the next 11:16.
In the first half, neither team shot particularly well, but Marquette did manage to make three straight shots as part of a 7-0 run midway through the half. UMBC held a 13-12 lead with 13:14 left when Davante Gardner hit a jump shot, Steve Taylor made a layup and Jake Thomas sank a 3-pointer to give Marquette a 19-13 lead with 11:20 remaining.
The Golden Eagles missed their next seven shots, however, to allow UMBC to tie the score at 20-20 on a basket by Chase Plummer with 4:29 remaining.