Thursday, February 23, 2012

Marquette Stays Tied for Second in Big East Behind Jae Crowder's 27 Points vs. Rutgers

College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 22, 2012

If there's any college player who might earn the title of "Mr. Do-it-all," the moniker would probably apply best to Marquette's Jae Crowder.

The 6'6" senior forward - who redshirted his first two years for the Golden Eagles - has been as versatile a player as there is in all of college hoops. Crowder has averaged 17.1 points, 7.7 rebounds and 2.1 assists this season, has nine double-doubles and can shoot the three or drive to the hole.

Crowder has stepped up his game even more recently, as Marquette has strung together four straight wins and 11 of their last 12, scoring 23 against Cincinnati, 29 against Connecticut and 27 Wednesday night in Marquette's 82-65 home win over Rutgers, adding seven rebounds, four assists, four steals and three blocked shots in one of the finest all-around performances of this college hoops season.

Marquette (23-5), currently tied for second place in the Big East with Notre Dame, at 12-3, has not lost a conference game at home this season, and their only home loss was a 74-57 setback to Vanderbilt on December 29. Both the Golden Eagles and Fighting Irish are chasing #2 Syracuse in the conference. The Orange improved to 15-1 and 28-1 overall with their 56-48 home win over South Florida, while Notre Dame was also on their home hardwood, blasting West Virginia, 71-44.

Marquette's Big East losses have been to Syracuse, Georgetown and Notre Dame, all on the road. With just three games remaining on their regular season schedule - at Cincinnati, at West Virginia and home vs. Georgetown - the Golden Eagles are in a good spot heading into tournament time, looking like a sure bet for a first round bye in the conference tourney, possibly earning a double bye if they can finish in the top four.

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