Published November 20, 2014
The Golden Eagles are off to a fast start and are seeking 12 wins in non- conference play for the first time since the 2006-07 season. The team has racked up 11 wins against just one loss this season with the lone setback coming at LSU (67-59) 10 days ago. Marquette was able to find its way back in to the win column just a couple of days later however, knocking off Milwaukee, 64-50.
Vanderbilt is 8-4 this season, with three of those four losses coming at home. Kevin Stallings's squad has won two straight games entering this contest though, routing both Longwood (99-71) and Lafayette (89-58).
Marquette holds a narrow 3-2 advantage in the all-time series. Vanderbilt won a thriller last season, 77-76 in Nashville.
Despite the rather modest record, Vanderbilt has been impressive at the offensive end of the floor this season, netting 76.8 ppg on a healthy .466 shooting percentage. The scoring depth is vast, headlined by junior guard John Jenkins, who is averaging an SEC-best 20.6 ppg. Jeffery Taylor also has the ability to fill up the basket at 17.9 ppg, while Lance Goulbourne and Brad Tinsley add to the scoring deluge with 10.4 and 10.2 ppg, respectively. In the 31-point romp over Lafayette, Jenkins matched his career-high with seven three-pointers en route to a 27-point performance. Taylor added 16 points and Goulbourne finished with 15, while Tinsley doled out a career-high 10 assists. Vanderbilt shot a season-high .583 from the floor in the win and connected on 15 three-pointers.
Marquette has played well at both ends of the floor this season and the result is an impressive +18.8 scoring margin. The team is delivering on 47.7 percent from the floor and netting 80.2 ppg, while holding foes well under 40 percent shooting (.374) and just 61.5 ppg. The Golden Eagles are led by the scoring duo of Darius Johnson-Odom and Jae Crowder. Johnson-Odom leads the team with 17.9 ppg, but Crowder is not far behind at 17.3 ppg. Crowder is also tops on the squad in the rebounding department, grabbing 7.3 boards per outing. Vander Blue provides additional scoring help at 10.2 ppg. In the win over the Panthers last time out, it was defensive tenacity that proved to be the difference. Milwaukee attempted a whopping 60 shots in the game, but converted just 16 times (.267) and was a mere 4-of-28 from behind the arc (.250). Meanwhile, Marquette was led in the scoring column by Junior Cadougan and his 15 points. Davante Gardner and Johnson-Odom added 12 points apiece.