So by now you've all heard about what happened on Saturday. I don't want to force myself, or any of you, to re-live the horror anymore than we already have so I'm just going to leave it at that. Looking at the schedule after the smoke had cleared, there was only one thought on the minds of Marquette fans everywhere: "Thank GOD we get DePaul next!" What better way to rinse the taste of disaster out your mouth than with the systematic destruction of your alleged "rivals" from Chicago. That's exactly what your Golden Eagles did tonight, giving DePaul a tour of the area behind the woodshed. Not that they weren't already familiar with it.
In all honesty, through the first 8+ minutes of this game it didn't look at all like it was going to be the blowout that we all wanted and needed. Marquette, as well as the fans at the Bradley Center, seemed a touch flat at the start of this one. I don't know if it was the hangover from Saturday, or the fact that no one really gets too fired up to play DePaul these days, but it didn't look good in the early going. DePaul was actually leading early, and playing well enough that the 11 or 12 fans they brought were actually starting to annoy me. A couple of offensive spurts by Darius Johnson-Odom kept the Blue Demons close and they were never able to get up by more than four points.
The last DePaul lead came with 9:05 to play in first half. DJO then made a free throw to tie the game at 23. And then DePaul suddenly remembered they were DePaul and Marquette remembered they were pissed off. Fast forward nine minutes and Jimmy Butler is dunking the ball, the horn is sounding and the good guys are up 46-29. By our calculations that's a 24-6 run to close out the half. I think that's good.
After recess it was more of the same - DePaul turnovers leading to Marquette lay-ups. It turned into something of a Globetrotters v. Generals affair from that point on. By about the 12 minute mark it was evident that the Blue Demons had packed it in. More turnovers, more dunks. The end result was the annihilation that we all hoped was coming.
Other items of note:
- Marquette won the rebounding battle tonight by a significant margin: 39-31, 18-12 offensive. The guys really just outworked 'em on the glass. Jae Crowder led the way with nine (more on him later), Jimmy Butler had eight, and Junior Cadougan had a career-high five (three offensive).
- You want to talk turnover margin? Let's talk turnover margin. MU forced DePaul into 21 turnovers tonight, and committed just SIX of their own.
- Junior Cadougan had to leave the game briefly in the first half and return to the locker room. He returned with a bandage over his left eye, but didn't seem any worse for the wear.
- As a result of Cadougan's trip to the infirmary, and avoiding silly fouls, Vander Blue got a bit more run tonight than he did this weekend. He capitalized on his time with 12 points on 5 of 6 shooting. A few of those buckets were some pretty nifty shots for Blue. I still maintain that this kid is going to be special with a capital "ecial" in the not so distant future.
- Chris Otule... where do I start? He was 1-6 from the floor tonight, but with just a tiny bit more touch he could've been 4-6. They were looking for him early, and he became something of a black hole once he got the ball. But he made DePaul work to guard him, and got 2 or 3 early fouls on starting center Krys Faber just by battling him for position. I'm inclined to think we have to at least keep him involved and make the other team work to guard him, even if it means he throws up a dumb shot or two.
- Someone check on the status of I LIKES BUYCKS. He chipped in tonight with 12 points on 5-10 shooting, and had 4 dimes.
- Had Marquette completed an alley-oop dunk yet this season? I couldn't think of one. If not, the dry spell is over tonight. There were actually two tonight, JFB finished both - the first from Cadougan, the second from Buycks.
- Oliver Purnell still looks like a nice man, though he looked a little pissed at his boys tonight. Also, it's been suggested that he looks like Gordon from Sesame Street. The jury is still out on that one.
Awards and juice boxes after the jump
Jimmy Butler Player of the Game Award: There were a lot of deserving candidates tonight. DJO with his 20 points and 4 threes. JFB and his 20 points, 8 boards, 4 steals. But the MAN of the evening was Jae Crowder. Jae stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points, 9 rebounds (6 offensive), 6 assists, and 3 blocks. Man's game b*tch.
Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle of the Game Award: I have to give the nod to Junior Cadougan tonight. I was especially impressed by his scrappiness on the boards. But he also chipped in 4 points, 3 assists and 4 steals. He knocked down both of his free throw attempts as well. All around, he just looks as though he's becoming more confident and more aggressive on the floor. He's coming around.
Play of the Game: A lot of good ones tonight. The one that stood out for me was our boy Joe Fulce sprinting down the floor to stop a 3 on 0 break, in garbage time, on his bum wheel. He got down the floor and blocked the lay-up. Unfortunately, Joe getting back only made it a 3 on 1 break, and DePaul got the rebound and laid it in. But Joe's effort gets the nod for the play of the game from me tonight.
Up Next: A trip to South Bend, IN for a re-match with Notre Dame. The Irish will undoubtedly be looking for a bit of revenge for the 79-57 whoopin' that Marquette handed them at the BC earlier this month. That comes your way Saturday at 6:00pm CST. Those of you making the trip down with the boys, I will see you there.