Timely '3' lifts Marquette
MILWAUKEE Marquette had not made a 3-pointer for the first 39 minutes and 59 seconds of Tuesday's game against Connecticut. That didn't worry Junior Cadougan.
Cadougan scored 18 points—including a buzzer-beating, tying 3-pointer at the end of regulation—to lead Marquette to an 82-76 overtime win over the Huskies in the Big East Conference opener for both teams.
"In that situation, you can't think about if we're 0 for 14," Cadougan said. "You have just got to shoot it to make it. If you make it, you make it. If you miss—tough luck."
Davante Gardner also scored 18 points for the Golden Eagles (10-3). Vander Blue scored 13 points as Marquette won its 17th in a row at home.
Shabazz Napier tied his career high with 29 points and had eight rebounds for Connecticut (10-3). Ryan Boatright added 16 for the Huskies, who saw a four-game winning streak end.
The game was the first for Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie since he received a five-year, nearly $7 million contract extension on Saturday.
Marquette was without head coach Buzz Williams, serving a one-game suspension for NCAA recruiting rules violations announced in August. Assistant Brad Autry filled in for Williams, who is expected to return for Saturday's game against No. 15 Georgetown.
In a bizarre start to the overtime, the officials lined up the teams the wrong way.
Connecticut won the tip, and Jamil Wilson was initially whistled for goaltending on a shot by Napier. The officials then stopped play, noticed the mistake, gave Connecticut a team turnover and awarded the ball to Marquette, taking the two points off the board.
After the game, game official Karl Hess, speaking through a Marquette spokesman, said two points should have been awarded to the Huskies.
Said Hess: "Based on Rule 5, Section 1, Article 3 (of the NCAA rule book), when the official permits a team to go in the wrong direction, and then the error is discovered, all activity and time consumed shall count as though each team had gone in the proper direction."
That's not what officials told both coaches, though.
"The refs said they just would award them the basketball because Shabazz shot on the wrong basket, and they goaltended," Ollie said. "It was just some fluke. It wasn't the deciding factor of the game, but it started the overtime in kind of a bizarre way."
Autry joked about it after the game.
"The old turnaround trick." the Marquette coach said, smiling. "I had it worked out where we were going to get the ball and the points on our goal-tend, and they didn't see it that way. They said it was an illegal shot, and I think what they ultimately did is they reverted back to an old elementary school do-over. He was just like, 'Uh, it's your ball, and we're going that way. So be quiet now.' So I was just quiet."