MADISON — Not many teams venturing into Madison's tiny home gym can match the Trojans' trademark quickness, but the Marquette Explorers did exactly that Wednesday.
Marquette rolled to an 11-0 lead and put the Trojans in a hole they never recovered from, winning 75-55 behind 22 points from Deion Lavender and 19 from Jake Coddington.
Marquette (15-7) forced Madison (11-9) out of its 2-3 zone defense early with pinpoint offensive execution, resulting in layups and wide-open 3-pointers.
"That was big for us to jump out and get out early on them, especially at this place," said Marquette coach Steve Medford, whose team defeated the Trojans 56-43 on Dec. 7. "It's a tough place to play at; it's loud, it's a good atmosphere. They've got kids that are athletic and long, they're going to disrupt some shots and do some things well.
"I thought we executed our zone sets really well. We got some easy shots and some easy baskets and then we got them out of their zone."
Helping to make that happen was Lavender, who had 14 of his 22 points by halftime. Lavender had a team-leading 21 points the last time the Explorers played Madison.
"We've always had a game plan of shutting down D'Tae (McMurray) and Coddington -- and then Lavender's killed us the last two games," said Madison coach Jaime Cotto, whose team was 11th in the latest Class 1A state rankings. "They've got so many weapons it's hard to choose which ones you want to focus on."
Marquette's quick hands also helped force 21 Madison turnovers.
The teams were playing to benefit the Wounded Warrior Project, a program that aids military veterans. Half the proceeds were donated to the cause and Madison wore specially designed military camouflage uniforms for the occasion, which drew a large crowd.
Madison seemed stunned after falling behind early and a dunk by Coddington put the Explorers on top 15-4. The Trojans regrouped and cut Marquette's lead to 15-11 on a 3-pointer by Marquis Borney, who finished with 19 points.
Deontay Starnes added 12 points for the Trojans and Dijon Bryant had 10.
The brief spurt of Madison momentum quickly fizzled as Lavender drained a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter and Marquette led 40-27 at halftime.
Medford said Lavender, sometimes overlooked in past years with all the talent on the roster, is becoming much more of an impact player.
"I'll tell you what, Lavender the last week has been absolutely phenomenal," Medford said. "He's really coming into his own, he's been very aggressive on the offensive end and very, very tough. I'm very proud of the way he's playing basketball right now.
"He's developed into a guy that we can really go to down the stretch."
The Explorers foiled any hope of a Madison comeback buy hitting seven of their first 10 shots in the third quarter. That echoed an earlier hot stretch that saw them sink nine of 13 shots in the opening quarter.
Coddington scored 13 of his 19 points in the second half, including a fadeaway 3-pointer near the end of the third quarter. He was successful on nine of his 12 shots Wednesday and the Explorers were 31-of-59 from the floor (52.5 percent).
"We played 2-3 (zone) last time against them and it worked," Cotto said. "Give Coach Medford a lot of credit, they came in with a game plan and they executed about three or four plays and made us get out of it. They back-doored us to death."