LAHAINA - Buzz Williams reached a milestone, and Marquette sent a message.
The Golden Eagles claimed fifth place in the EA Sports Maui Invitational on Wednesday, and gave Williams his 100th win as Marquette's coach, by beating Southern California 72-64 at the Lahaina Civic Center.
The Golden Eagles showed resolve in multiple ways during their trip to the Valley Isle. They won back-to-back games after losing to Butler on a buzzer-beater in the first round, and the second of those victories came after the Trojans, who trailed 39-27 at halftime, rallied to get within a point.
Marquette’s Jamil Wilson gets back on defense after hitting a 3-pointer during the first half of his team’s 72-64 victory over Southern California on Wednesday.
The Maui News / MATTHEW THAYER photo
"I thought they came at us to start the second half, and we didn't respond right away," Williams said. "Then I thought we were kind of able to level it off through the next media timeout in the third media timeout we came back with what we needed to come back and win."
Jamil Wilson scored 19 points for Marquette (4-1), which received votes in The Associated Press poll released Monday and might make a move upward.
"I felt like it was great for us to turn it around and get these two wins," said Wilson, who was 7-for-9 from the field, sinking three of four 3-point attempts. "It shows the maturity of our team."
The Golden Eagles' Junior Cadougan scored 11 points, and Chris Otule had 10.
Marquette's Vander Blue suffered an apparent knee injury with just under three minutes left in the game.
"The one doctor here said he didn't hurt or tear his ACL," Williams said. "He thought it was twisted, but that's not confirmed."
"He's good," Wilson said. "He was just telling us, he dove for the ball someone hit his knee. He's icing it now but he should be all right."
The Trojans (3-2) got 21 points from J.T. Terrell.
"We had a chance today," said USC coach Kevin O'Neill.
The Trojans trailed 41-30 after Otule's layup 80 seconds into the first half, then went on a 15-5 run that followed the Golden Eagles' move to a zone defense. Marquette scored the next nine points however - Cadougan assisted on Wilson's 3-pointer, then converted two layups and a jump shot - and never led by less than six the rest of the way.
"We tried to give them a different look and they executed and brought the score back," Wilson said. "But coach Buzz and everybody were just saying, 'Keep poised, make great plays. Throw good pitches and we'll be all right.' And we came back out with the win."
* Rich Van Scoy is at email@example.com
Cadougan 3-7 5-6 11, Anderson 1-1 1-2 4, Blue 3-11 0-0 6, Lockett 2-5 4-4 8, Otule 5-7 0-0 10, J. Wilson 7-9 2-2 19, D. Wilson 1-3 0-1 2, Thomas 0-3 0-0 0, Taylor, Jr. 0-0 0-0 0, Gardner 3-5 6-6 12. Totals 25-51 18-21 72.
SOUTHERN CAL (64)
Fontan 1-8 4-4 7, Dedmon 1-2 1-1 3, Terrell 7-16 2-2 21, Wesley 3-11 4-6 12, Wise 5-11 1-1 11, Stewart 1-3 0-0 2, Bryan 0-0 0-0 0, Fuller 0-0 0-0 0, Blasczyk 0-0 0-0 0, Oraby 4-5 0-1 8. Totals 22-56 12-15 64.
Halftime-Marquette 39-27. 3-Point Goals-Marquette 4-10 (J. Wilson 3-4, Anderson 1-1, Blue 0-1, Cadougan 0-2, Thomas 0-2), Southern Cal 8-18 (Terrell 5-9, Wesley 2-5, Fontan 1-2, Stewart 0-2). Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Marquette 35 (Gardner, Lockett, J. Wilson 6), Southern Cal 31 (Wise 9). Assists-Marquette 12 (Cadougan 6), Southern Cal 16 (Fontan 9). Total Fouls-Marquette 17, Southern Cal 20. Technicals-Gardner, Dedmon. A-2,400.