Well, Bummer: #3 Denver 17, Marquette 9

Kyle Whitlow had a hat trick for the Golden Eagles against Denver. - Maggie Bean/MarquetteImages.com

The Golden Eagles needed 60 minutes of perfect lacrosse to earn the #1 seed in the Big East tournament. They got about 20 before things went sideways.

Less than three minutes into the game, Bryan Badolato recorded his 20th goal of the season, and Marquette led the number 3 team in the country 2-1.  Three straight from the Denver Pioneers made it 4-2, and a Kyle Whitlow marker made it 4-3 after 15 minutes.

The writing was on the wall, though.  Denver had outshot Marquette 10-4 in that opening stanza, and that wasn't going to change any time soon.  Denver and Marquette traded goals in the first few minutes of the second quarter, and a 5-4 game looked awfully nice for Marquette with 12:38 left in the period.

From there, Marquette wouldn't record their next goal until the fourth quarter when the Pioneers let up the pressure.  Meanwhile, Denver scored nine unanswered goals while outshooting the Golden Eagles 22-10, and it was only that close because the Pios took it easy in the third, only recording eight shots.  Denver's Jack Bobzien turned himself into Marquette's worst nightmare over that 27+ minute stretch, scoring three of his game high four goals in the game and assisting on another one.

Marquette managed to outscore Denver 5-3 in the fourth quarter to make the final score look nicer than the game actually was, and even then, it was mostly Marquette's top attackers - Badolato, Whitlow, and Conor Gately - scoring against the depths of Denver's bench.  The Pioneers got goals from two guys getting their first tally of the year and the third came from a guy getting his second of the season.

The loss in the Rocky Mountains combined with Villanova losing in overtime to Providence makes Marquette the #2 seed in the Big East tournament.  They'll face off with those Wildcats in one of the semifinal games this coming Thursday, while the other semifinal will feature regular season champion Denver taking on 4 seed Rutgers.  The Scarlet Knights played their way into the tournament by defeating Georgetown 12-8 on Saturday.

STAT WATCH: A 7-8 outing in the fourth quarter turned the face off battle from a slaughter to a manageable disaster.  Marquette went 11-28 at the X on the day, with Paul Riportella's 5-11 leading the way.  That's a 39.3% success rate for the day, lower than the 42.9% from last season.  Three face off violations by the Pioneers in the fourth quarter sure did end up helping that look nicer than it did for the first 45 minutes.

On the turnover front, Marquette definitely did not beat themselves in Denver.  The Golden Eagles committed just nine turnovers in the game, even lower than their season average of 12.4 per game coming into the game.  Of those nine, five were not caused by Denver's defense, giving Marquette a rate of 20.8 unforced turnovers per 100 offensive chances in the game.  Last season, Marquette had a season long run of 27.5 unforced turnovers per 100 opportunities, so credit must be paid to Marquette's attention to possession against one of the five best teams in the country.

Up Next: Since Villanova is hosting the Big East tournament, that means that the Big East has given the Wildcats the second of the two semifinals in order to draw the biggest crowd possible for both games.  Marquette and Villanova are scheduled to face off at 6pm Central on Thursday evening, or approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of the Denver-Rutgers game.  Both games will be available for live free video streaming through BigEast.com/allaccess.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Anonymous Eagle

You must be a member of Anonymous Eagle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Anonymous Eagle. You should read them.

Join Anonymous Eagle

You must be a member of Anonymous Eagle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Anonymous Eagle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker