Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Both halves started better than they ended, and Marquette ended up with another lousy road performance and another road loss.
What do you guys want to talk about first?
How about turnovers? Marquette turned the ball over on 30% of their possessions. That's roughly 10 percentage points higher than normal, which was six possessions in this game. I distinctly remember three terrible passes that were made when the Georgetown defender was already breaking into the passing lane. I presume the other three can be chalked up to [counts] oh, hey, look, six offensive fouls Marquette committed. I'm not going to try and say that these fouls weren't legitimate rule book violations. But if you're going to whistle moving screens, then you'd best be ready to blow the whistle on the clobbering level contact under the basket on rebounds. Or, say, when Todd Mayo gets completely run over while shooting a three pointer with just under 5 minutes left. It doesn't matter if it goes in or not, he still got blasted.
To go back to the six turnover margin, there was a 2:22 stretch in the first half where MU turned the ball over on six straight possessions without even getting a shot off. The score went from 11-6 in favor of the Golden Eagles to 14-11 in favor of the Hoyas after D`Vauntes Smith-Rivera made a layup after his steal. You can make a big deal about a momentum swing that happened in the second half when Buzz Williams got whistled for a technical foul, but all that resulted in was two Otto Porter free throws. MU still played defense on the next possession, where Porter scored to push the lead back to 8. MU nearly literally handed GU the ball on six straight possessions that turned in to a 8-0 run for the Hoyas. THAT'S a momentum killer.
Let's turn our attention to offensive rebounds. Straight talk: Marquette sucks at grabbing their opponents' misses. They allow opponents to snare exactly one-third of their misses according to KenPom.com, which is - wait for it - 235th in the country. When you filter that down to only Big East games, the rate goes up to 34.8%, which slots MU at 11th in the Big East. No good. So when you combine a near disasterous day turning over the ball with allowing Georgetown to grab over 40% of their misses, it's a damn miracle that the final margin was only eight points.
Last item on the docket: Road games. Florida: Still looking for the doors after they got blown off. UWGB: Gross. Pittsburgh: probably lucky to get a win with no Junior for 25 minutes and no Tray Woodall. Cincinnati: 13 point first half means they had no business having a shot to win. Louisville: Never had a chance. South Florida: Well, that one was nice. And now this. Four out of Marquette's final seven Big East games are on the road. Seton Hall, Villanova, Rutgers, and St. John's are theoretically all winnable games for the Golden Eagles. Lousy ball control and rebounding is going to make that really difficult, though.
Jae Crowder Player Of The Game: Oh, crap, I have to pick something here. I'm going with Chris Otule. Dude scored eight of MU's first eleven points and had three blocks. He's got 10 blocks in his last five games after only racking up 13 in the first 18 games.
Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle Of The Game: Steve Taylor gets my vote. He only played three minutes, but he made the most of it. He got his only basket of the game on a man sized putback, and grabbed a defensive rebound for good measure, too.
Davante "Big Smooth" Gardner Smooth Play Of The Game: ... well.... there was that thing? With the guy? Seriously, though, I've got nothing. Anyone have any nominees?
Up Next: Pittsburgh on Saturday in the Bradley Center on CBS.