Cadougan tied his career high with 15 points and No. 10 Marquette beat cross-town rival Wisconsin-Milwaukee for the 39th straight time, 64-50 on Thursday night.
“UWM was sagging off on me,” said Cadougan, who also had a career-high seven rebounds. “They were just sitting on my teammates so I just had to make something happen.
“I tried to muscle my way in there. I tried to find the best available shot that I could get. I guess my strength took me all the way to the basket, and I made plays.”
Darius Johnson-Odom and Davante Gardner added 12 points each for Marquette (11-1), which was coming off its first loss of the season Monday at LSU.
Ryan Allen led Milwaukee (9-4) with 16 points and a career-high 13 rebounds and six blocked shots. Kaylon Williams had 11 points.
“The maturity of our team collectively was outstanding,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. “I was really proud of them. It’s been a lot of stuff, and I thought that how we handled the loss, how we responded to what the film taught us, how we practiced yesterday, how we handled shootaround today, how we handled not making shots tonight was superb.”
The series dates to 1917, and Marquette’s 75-72 victory last season was the closest game in series history. This one also had the look of a rivalry, with physical and sometimes sloppy play on both ends. The teams combined for 41 fouls, including three technicals.
Gardner had three fouls in the half—two on one play, as he followed a hard foul on an alley-oop attempt by Allen with a technical for protesting the call. The play resulted in four free throws for the Panthers and cut Marquette’s lead to 27-25.
The Golden Eagles took off from there.
Marquette used a 10-1 run spanning the first and second halves to open a 37-26 lead. Jamil Wilson had six points during the spurt, and Milwaukee went 7:28 without a basket.
The Panthers pulled to 45-38 with 8:46 left after two free throws by Kyle Kelm. But Marquette used an 11-3 run over the next 4-plus minutes to seal it.
“It’s an emotional game for both teams, and you just hated to see it get ugly,” Milwaukee coach Rob Jeter said. “You just want to see two teams play, and we got back to playing basketball.”
Milwaukee shot just 25 percent in the second half and finished 4 of 28 on 3-pointers. Tony Meier, Milwaukee’s second-leading scorer (11.3 points per game) missed all 10 of his shots, including nine 3-pointers, and finished with two points.
Johnson-Odom also was off his game, and the Golden Eagles held off Milwaukee in the second half in large part without him. Johnson-Odom picked up his fourth foul with 13:12 remaining, tripping Williams 30 feet from the basket. He fouled out with 2:52 left.
Cadougan, however, picked up the slack.
“It’s no secret that at Marquette, Junior’s job is to run the team,” Jeter said. “He does a great job of that. Tonight we wanted him to be more of a scorer, and he did that.”
Said Williams: “His growth defensively has allowed him to help our team in a lot of ways that the boxscore doesn’t show. Our team is best when the ball is in his hands because he makes plays for others. He delivers the ball on time, on target. He does things that you can’t necessarily coach a player to do.”
Ja’Rob McCallum, Milwaukee’s starting shooting guard, missed his seventh straight game with a wrist injury.
Marquette, however, playing its third game in six days, faced its own adversity.
“Everybody is kind of beat up, tired legs, flying back late, getting back early, working out,” Wilson said. “Mentally, it’s just wearing on us as much as physically.”