College Hoops Player of the Day for Monday, January 10, 2011
Proving once again that playing in the Big East is not for the faint of heart, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame entered the Bradley Center in Milwaukee for a regional showdown with the Marquette Golden Eagles.
The Irish were sporting a #9 ranking in the AP poll, released earlier in the day, and a 14-2 record, their only losses at kentucky and Syracuse. By the time the Irish were through, they were 14-3, and wondering how they hit only three of 16 3-point shots while the Eagles were burying 12 of 17 from beyond the arc. The result was a 79-57 rout as a trio of Marquette shooters rained down threes all night long. From three-point range, Darius Johnson-Odom hit 3-of-5, scoring 13 points, Joe Crowder made 4-of-6 and tallied 18, but Dwight Buycks was the most deadly. He nailed 7-of-9 shots from the floor, including all five of his three-point attempts, for a game-high 21 points.
Maquette put the Irish away early in the second half and were never threatened after opening up a double-digit lead. The win was a key one for the Golden Eagles, 12-5, and on the fringe of the Big East conference and probably a bubble team come March.