Just 6 Bad Minutes: #21/22 Marquette 74, #23/21 Louisville 63

First 5-0, then 18-2. Those are the leads that the Louisville Cardinals opened up in the first 6 minutes against Marquette during their matinee contest today.

But everything starts somewhere. After a media time out, Darius Johnson-Odom hit a layup, Chane Behanan turned the ball over, and DJO hit a 3. VOLUME SHOOTER Russ Smith (8-20 on the day) hit a jumper, but Todd Mayo came back down and canned a 3. Just like that, the lead was down to 10. 4 minutes later, Marquette was rolling on a 9-0 run and the lead was down to 4.

But Louisville regained their composure and started to hold MU off. They'd hit a couple, Marquette would hit a couple, and we started to wonder if this is how it would go the rest of the game.

Then Mayo hit a three under the 4 minute mark, Davante Gardner got a SWEET stutter step dribble and a floater in the lane to fall and then got fouled after MU made a stop. Ox went 2-2 from the line - he didn't miss any of his 7 FT attempts in the game - and like that, BOOM, tie game at 30. Marquette had gone on a 28-12 run in 11:31. 2 more buckets by the good guys and they took a 4 point lead into the half.

Halftime1_medium

Halftime2_medium

Yep. That was my reaction. So, what to expect in the second half? Join me after the jump, and we'll continue.

Now, I'm not going to tell you it was all fun and games for Marquette in the second half. Louisville put together an 8-0 run right in the middle that did cut the lead to 2. It got a little hairy there for a while. But that was it. MU responded. Ox got himself an AND ONE tip in, Jae hit a 3, and BANG, back to an 8 point lead and MU was off from there. Jae hit a 3 with a little more than a minute left to push the lead to 16, the highest it would get in the game.

Just like that, MU is sitting in a 5 way tie for 3rd place in the Big East at 4-2. NICE.

Notes:

  • Things that worked in MU's favor from the get-go: Kyle Kuric didn't play for Louisville due to a high ankle sprain and Gorgui Dieng picked up a foul 28 seconds into the game. He'd pick up his second at about the 9 minute mark, but Pitino would leave him in, and he'd play 16 minutes in the first half and in the second as well before fouling out with 3:45 remaining.
  • Why didn't Derrick Wilson play against Pitt? Junior Cadougan was LITERALLY vomiting during the game. Derrick got into this game at the 2:27 mark of the first half and promptly picked Peyton Siva's pocket and snagged a rebound on an Angel Nunez miss. As @LLRj said on Twitter when I asked this during the game: Derrick Wilson: Turkey Hunter.
  • Vander Blue played 7 minutes in the second half, 19 total. I don't know what to make of this yet, but I've started to get the feeling that Vander's not playing all that much, or at least for not very long stretches.
  • I don't know what started it, but there was a group of people in the student section who decided to chant AUTOMATIC during Gardner's free throws. Luckily, he made every throw he attempted in this game. If anyone can speak to what got this idea in someone's head, fire away in the comments section.
  • Last one: If you were worried about Marquette filling the BC to an appropriate level for this 2:30 tipoff on a Monday afternoon, worry no more. MU's box score lists attendance as 16,688. For comparison, MU averaged 15,586 for the 2010-11 season.

Four Factors:

eFG%: MU - 47.5% UL - 46.8%
TO%: MU - 19.6% UL - 23.7%
OReb%: MU - 32.4% UL - 35.1%
FT Rate: MU - 29.5% UL - 15.9%

Points Per Possession: MU - 1.03 UL - 0.88

Jimmy Butler Player Of The Game: Oh, easy one here. Jae Crowder's double-double came on 6-11 shooting, including 2-5 on threes, for 14 points and 11 rebounds, 3 on the offensive end. Mix in an assist, 2 blocks and 6 steals, and the Absolut Weapon was exactly that here. Best part of what Jae did today? Two fouls.

Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle Of The Game: MY GUY! Junior Cadougan was quiet on the offensive end, but he did hit 5 of his 6 free throws. He added three rebounds, six assists and three steals. 4 turnovers is a bit much, but still a nice smooth outing from the Toronto native.

Davante "Big Smooth" Gardner Smooth Play Of The Game: Hey, look, Mr. Big Smooth gets into the action here. As much as I wanted to give it to Junior and Jae for Louisville just losing track of Jae right under the rim, that wasn't smooth, just dumbfounding. MU's last bucket of the first half came on a SMOOTH halfway behind the back shovel pass from Davante Gardner to Jae Crowder on the other side of the lane. Crowder laid it up and in, and the building went nuts.

Up Next: A trip to the home of the Big East to take on the Providence Friars on Saturday evening. Hopefully Jonathan Xavier didn't get a schedule magnet.

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