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Vander Blue’s scoring will dictate Marquette’s finish

Feb 11, 2013, 9:43 PM EDT

Jamee Crockett, Vander Blue AP

There’s no real question that Vander Blue is the primary scorer for Marquette. His 15 points per game justify that.

Monday night at Georgetown, Blue scored seven on 3-of-9 shooting in a 63-55 loss to the Hoyas, his worst scoring output in Big East Conference play and lowest overall since a six-point in a 49-47 loss to Green Bay on Dec. 19. It was also the last time Blue finished in single-digits scoring.

That right there will tell you how valuable Blue is to this team, offensively.

Blue has done his thing in the big games this season, win or lose. Against Florida, he dropped 20 in a loss. At Pittsburgh, he scored 22 and had 19 in a loss to Cincinnati. Don’t forget 21 in a close loss to Butler. Just because, he dropped 30 in a win over South Florida.

Monday night was a prime example that Blue has to be on his game if Marquette hopes to make a run in the Big East tournament and get a decent seed in the NCAAs, Blue has to be the guy who played well, even in a loss, against the Gators (he was 8-of-14 from the field and 2-of-5 from three) and play less like he did against the Hoyas (3-of-9, 0-of-4).

Fortunately, the home stretch for Marquette favors them. Road games at Seton Hall, Villanova, Rutgers and St. John’s — all winnable — flank home games against Pittsburgh, Syracuse and Notre Dame, all of which could or should be ranked when they go down. Blue will need his big-game talent for all of them.

He didn’t get off to a great start with seven at no. 15 Georgetown.

There are other scoring options. Devante Gardner’s 12 points are a nice compliment. Jamil Wilson scored 13 in the loss on Monday and averages 8.2 per for the season.

But the team runs through Blue on offense. It has to if the Golden Eagles want anything to do with the late postseason in the middle of March.

Follow David Harten on Twitter at @David_Harten.

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