Marquette beats Colgate 84-63 in opener

  • Associated Press
  • November 12, 2012 - 7:26 AM

MILWAUKEE - It wasn't quite like playing on an aircraft carrier, but Marquette will certainly take the result.

Jamil Wilson had 15 points and Davante Gardner added 14 off the bench as Marquette rolled to an 84-63 victory over Colgate in the opening game of the Maui Invitational on Sunday.

It was Marquette's season opener after its game against No. 4 Ohio State aboard the USS Yorktown in South Carolina was cancelled Friday night due to condensation on the floor.

"It felt good," Wilson said. "We still have a lot of things to work on. Everything wasn't perfect, but it was good to put some wind in the sails and finally get going. Everybody was looking forward to today because we didn't play for the troops."

Chris Otule added 11 points on 5-of-5 shooting for Marquette in his first game since suffering a season-ending knee injury eight games into last season.

Murphy Burnatowski led Colgate (0-2) with 24 points, a career high for the senior. Pat Moore added 16.

The Golden Eagles never trailed against the Raiders. They led 42-31 at halftime and pulled away late, using a 12-4 run to take a 66-46 lead with 10:39 remaining. Colgate got no closer than 15 the rest of the way.

"There is never a moral victory," Colgate coach Matt Langel said.

"It is size and their brand of basketball," he said. "They keep running guys at you. That is definitely an area when you are playing a team of that size and athleticism, you know that is going to hurt you. You just hope it is not too bad."

Marquette, with the 6-foot-11 Otule and 6-8 Gardner rotating inside plus Wilson standing 6-7, was too big for Colgate. The Golden Eagles outscored Colgate 50-16 in the paint and forced 18 Raiders turnovers, leading to 22 points. Colgate, however, outrebounded Marquette, 39-37.

"I don't know if that's size advantage, but that doesn't hurt," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "But Chris and Davante have really gotten better.

"They are really different in their skill set, and our players have a feel for that. It changes the dimension of our team."

Marquette also had eight turnovers and 14 offensive rebounds — two areas Williams pointed to after the game. "I was very pleased with that," he said. "We spend a lot of time harping on that. They've heard me say it enough."

The Golden Eagles jumped to a 16-5 lead, holding Colgate to 1-of-8 shooting and forcing six turnovers in the first 6:10 of the game and 12 for the half.

Wilson, whose career high is 18 points, had 11 in the first half, including two 3-pointers. He made 10 3-pointers all of last season.

Still, Colgate hung around much of the first half and into the second.

"Buzz called it first-game jitters . everyone just being riled up to play, overplaying things, just being too aggressive, just trying to go for the big play instead of wearing them down," Wilson said of the first-half play. "Guys were just pretty excited to play, and once we got that out of the way, we were pretty solid."

It was a strong start for Marquette, which went 27-8 last season including 15-1 at home. The Golden Eagles have won at least 20 games in seven straight seasons.

Marquette is coming off back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances but lost its top two scorers from last year's team — Big East Conference Player of the Year Jae Crowder and Darius Johnson-Odom. The duo, both second-round picks in the NBA draft, combined to score 35.8 points and 11.9 rebounds per game last season. Marquette is also without reserve guard Todd Mayo, out indefinitely after being declared academically ineligible.

Colgate opened the season with a 75-55 loss to Illinois on Friday. Burnatowski, a Canadian transfer from Maine who sat out last season, led Colgate against the Illini with 23 points, 18 in the first half.

"He's played in some big games, and he has had good games against big teams," Langel said. "If he keeps up this work, there are bright days in the future for him for sure."

The 6-foot-7 Burnatowski is one of four senior starters for Colgate, which returns just two starters from a team that went 8-22 overall and 2-12 in the Patriot League. Among the losses are their leading rebounder and top 3-point shooter.

Marquette's next game in the Maui Invitational is Nov. 19 against Butler in Maui, followed by either No. 11 North Carolina or Mississippi State.

"We're not trying to be smarter than anybody. We're not trying to trick anybody," Williams said. "What we're trying to do is overwhelm you with how hard we play and overwhelm you within our energy."

Notes: Transfers Trent Lockett (Arizona State) and Jake Thomas (South Dakota) also made their Marquette debuts. Lockett had seven points, seven rebounds and five steals in 19 minutes. . This was the first meeting between Marquette and Colgate. . Marquette has won 12 straight season openers. . Colgate opens at home against Marist Wednesday — one of just two home games for the Raiders until Dec. 28.

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