First and foremost:
1 - The first 12 and a half minutes was pretty great.
With 7:27 left in the first half, Chris Otule drained the front end of a pair of free throws to give Marquette a 21-5 lead. Ok, maybe the 36% shooting isn't great. But when you have built a lead bigger than the number of minutes played, you're doing pretty good in the world.
2 - The next 7 minutes and 27 seconds sucked out loud.
Marquette missed all seven of the shots that they took for the rest of the second half and only made four free throws to finish the half with 25 points. Even worse, they allowed 13 points to New Hampshire, allowing the Wildcats to cut the lead to just seven at intermission. The last three seconds of the first half and the first three seconds of halftime summed up this entire game in a nutshell. After UNH's Patrick Konan rebounded a missed Todd Mayo three point attempt, Jamil Wilson was able to swipe it away from him around the three point line and headed to the rim as quick as could be for a dunk.
He missed the dunk.
On top of that, the ball caromed away from the rim in the direction that Wilson was already moving, so he snagged it as he went by and casually lofted a three point attempt towards the rim long after the horn had sounded to end the half.
He made the three pointer.
Jamil hits a three after the buzzer sounds after blowing a dunk with 2 seconds left, BECAUSE GOD HATES US. #mubb— Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle) November 22, 2013
3 - The second half was absolutely no fun.
Marquette was able to push the lead to as high as 14 with 8:53 remaining, but it definitely didn't feel like they were firmly in control. New Hampshire was able to dig into the lead and cut it all the way down to four on a Jordon Bronner three pointer with 42 seconds left. Five of eight free throw shooting from MU after that provided just barely enough offense to allow for a win at the end of the game. Had Marquette shot better than either 13 of 22 from the charity stripe or 2 of 10 behind the arc in the second half, this is probably a completely different recap, because this section wouldn't exist and the game wouldn't have left a horrible taste in everyone's mouth.
4 - Whatever's wrong with MU, Buzz Williams thinks it's a fundamental flaw.
Here's his post game quotes, as provided by Fox Sports Wisconsin's Andrew Gruman:
"As much as shooting will be the focal point of what you guys write, I think the issue has to become how hard we play," Williams said. "Last year without argument you could say we couldn't shoot, but we led the Big East in field goal percentage. How can you justify that? You can't say it's because we have a bunch of guys that can shoot. It was established we don't have anybody that can shoot.
"I think at some point you have to rewind to did you earn the right to make that shot? That has to be earned by how hard you play. We're not playing near hard enough. That's not a coaching rant.
"I'm telling all of you the same thing I told the team. I don't think that's necessarily the right thing to do, to be as transparent as I am. We have to get back to how we laid the foundation in the time that we've been here and how we've built the foundation in the time that we've been here. Somewhere along the way, and I'm at the front of the line, there has been a disconnect in how we function."
Well, that sucks, and something about that tells me that this is going to be a very long West Coast trip this week.
Jae Crowder Player of the Game: I was tempted to say eff it, no awards for this crap performance, but I found this line in the box score: 16 points on 4 of 9 shooting & 7 of 8 from the line, two rebounds, three assists, a block, a steal, and no turnovers. That's actually pretty great, considering how ugly this game was. So you win, Todd Mayo.
Joe Fulce Undersung Eagle of the Game: Everyone else. Maybe not Otule, but 4-7 from the line and only two rebounds in 23 minutes? BLEH.
Davante "Big Smooth" Gardner Smooth Play of the Game: Nothing was smooth. It all sucked.
Up Next: Tonight in the desert against Jahii Carson and Arizona State. This will probably not be fun.