TWO Game Recaps in one post with TWO wins and TWO double-doubles! Acid scarred district attorneys don't read blog entries much, but when they do, they prefer THIS ONE.
On Saturday night, Marquette seniors Jocelyn Mellen, Jasmine Collins, Courtney Weibel, Paige Fiedorowicz, Tatiyiana McMorris, and Angel Robinson were given the opportunity to make a big impression in their last home game and they took advantage, beating (you might want to sit down for this next part) a top ten DePaul team. And when I say took advantage, I do mean that. Four of the seniors scored in double figures, and Terri Mitchell's crew staked themselves to a 34-25 halftime lead. They managed to build that out to a 15 point lead with 16:18 remaining, but that's when DePaul woke up and rallied back to briefly take the lead at 51-49 on a Deirdre Naughton three pointer with 6:24 left. 32 seconds later, Angel Robinson made a layup to tie the game and the Marquette women managed to only allow 1 DePaul basket the rest of the way while making 9 of 10 free throws to ice the game.
On Sunday afternoon, the Marquette men's team looked to follow up their big win against the Connecticut Huskies on Thursday night with a win at home over the Providence Friars. After the first 181 seconds, they found themselves up 10-0, and had all the cushion they needed for the rest of the game.
Possibly the biggest key to their victory was the defensive performance against Marshon Brooks, last seen hanging a Big East record 52 on Notre Dame. Brooks was held to 17 points on 7-16 shooting, with most of the defense coming from noted Marquette utilityman Jimmy Butler. In his postgame talk with Steve True and Jim McIllvane, Buzz Williams noted both the effort from the rest of the team and Brooks' own impression of the defense. Buzz told Homer and Mac that he's never been told anything but "good luck" after a game by an opposing player in D1 basketball, but today Brooks stopped to tell him that what Marquette did today was the best defensive effort against him all season.
I'll wait while someone goes and checks on Rubie.
[watches the GIF of the Louisville cheerleader getting whistled for a technical foul for the 47th time]
Moving on with some quick notes:
- HOLY CRAP, this is why Buzz recruited Junior Cadougan. I'll get into his stats later, but it became very clear today that Junior is completely recovered from his Achilles injury. The way he's moving and seeing the court is fantastic, and I'm thrilled that we're getting 2 more years of this.
- And on the topic of two more years of things, Chris Otule is officially the big man that this team has lacked since Robert Jackson made his stellar 1 year appearance. It's obvious from his playing time that Buzz trusts him on defense, and he's become so effective on the offensive end that at one point in the 2nd half, Providence was doubling him BEFORE he got the ball. WHILE THEY WERE PLAYING A ZONE.
- Jae Crowder's shot hasn't responded to being removed from the starting lineup (2-9 today), but his effort is more than making up for it. The Ultimate Weapon put up 12 points and 13 rebounds in just 23 minutes.
- The Erik Williams Experience continued for a second outing today and will probably get a third outing on Wednesday after the 6 point, 5 rebound effort today.
- Finally, a request: If you wouldn't want Dwight Buycks shooting it, don't scream like a crazy person for Rob Frozena to shoot it during the 90 seconds he gets to play.
Four Factors, awards, and upcoming games after The Jump:
I suspect that Marquette would have had an advantage in the turnover percentage column if Providence hadn't shot SEVENTY-THREE field goals.
Jimmy Butler Player Of The Game: Junior Cadougan, and it's not close. 10 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 steals in what Jim McIllvane tells us is a career high 30 minutes of play.
Joe Fulce Undersung Player Of The Game: Chris Otule. CO still counts for this award, right? 16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 blocks and a career high 2 putback dunks. THAT'S GREAT HUSTLE.
Play Of The Game: My initial reaction isn't terribly eloquent, so I'll explain further: Davante Gardner saw Junior cutting to the hoop and made a nice pass to him. That drew Ox's man towards Junior, so Junior flipped it back to Ox for the layup. All in all, a perfect example of what I was trying to say about Junior's play.
Upcoming Games: The women's team gets right back to it in Cincinnati tomorrow night to close out their season. The best finish they can hope for in the Big East is 4th, which is where they currently are in a tie with Rutgers and Louisville. A win over the hapless Bearcats (8-19, 1-14) would go a long way to locking up that 4 seed in the Big East Tournament.
The men's team also have the Bearcats next, but in this case, the game will be in Milwaukee on Wednesday night. The Cincinnati men's team is doing much better than their female counterparts with a current record of 22-7 and 9-7 in the Big East. Since Marquette and Cincinnati are 2 of FIVE teams at 9-7 and SIX with seven losses, a win on Senior Night would go a long way for both Big East Tournament seeding and NCAA Tournament seeding.