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Notre Dame 73, Marquette 65: Grades

Junior Cadougan – Give credit to Cadougan for looking last year’s debacle against Louisville (eight turnovers) in the eye and producing tonight. He finished with 14 points, including a pair of 3-pointers. The 1 assist-to-3 turnovers were an issue, however, but Marquette only assisted on nine field goals as a team. His defense (Eric Atkins had 8 points and 4 assists) was average. GRADE: C+

Vander Blue – Marquette’s leading scorer began to take over the game midway through the second half, scoring five points in a minute to help Marquette to a 48-44 lead, but in the final 9:38 of the game he was 1-of-5 and committed three fouls. It was disappointing to see him shy away late, but he was hardly the reason Marquette dropped this one. GRADE: B-

Trent Lockett – He continues to do the little things well and, literally, it could win Marquette a game in the NCAA Tournament. But tonight his five turnovers and three field goal attempts (one make) were ugly, and his defense on Jerian Grant and Pat Connaughton left plenty to be desired. He’ll bounce back, but his No. 1 goal every night must be to take care of the ball. GRADE: D+

Juan Anderson – Buzz Williams is finding the perfect way to use Anderson: a defensive plug-and-play who can essentially “waste” five fouls if it means not allowing easy baskets. He did that tonight (four fouls) and managed to pick up four rebounds, two assists and a steal in the process. A solid outing all-around for the sophomore, who committed zero turnovers, too. GRADE: B

Chris Otule – He dealt with foul trouble in the first half, but it was a bit confusing not to see Otule on the court late when Marquette was in desperate need of interior defense. Otule finished with four points and five rebounds and there’s not much to complain about from his performance tonight, though he wasn’t stellar on the glass. GRADE: C+

Davante Gardner – We know Gardner’s limitations, so it wasn’t terribly surprising to see him eaten up inside by Jack Cooley, Tom Knight and Garrick Sherman. He finished with 11 points and six rebounds in 19 minutes, but his defense was a major liability down the stretch. GRADE: C

Jamil Wilson – Another outstanding night for the rising junior. His 16 points led the way for Marquette and he added two more 3-pointers. He’s not an isolation scorer, but his teammates found him late and he was key in keeping the Golden Eagles in it late. His defense continues to be a plus, and he was Marquette’s best player tonight. GRADE: B+

Todd Mayo – The sophomore shooting guard played 14 minutes, but it didn’t seem like it. He wasn’t too aggressive offensively and struggled against Grant and Connaughton most of the night. His final line: 2 points, 2 rebounds and a turnover. GRADE: C

Derrick Wilson – Cadougan’s back-up logged seven minutes and, outside of a missed field goal, didn’t log any statistics.

Steve Taylor – It would have been interesting to see how fresh legs fared against Notre Dame late, but Williams opted to stay with Gardner and Jamil Wilson late instead of trying out Taylor. The freshman had two points and an offensive rebound in seven minutes.

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