Shaking off the embarrassment of Wednesday's loss to the woebegone Demons of DePaul, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles got off the schneid with their first BIG EAST win of the 2014-15 season, earning a hard-fought 75-66 win over Providence this afternoon at the Bradley Center.
Providence started the first half white-hot, making its first five attempts from the field -- including a pair of deep 3-pointers -- to take a 12-7 lead at the under-16 media timeout. But after filling the role of Sir Not Appearing In This Film against DePaul, freshman Sandy Cohen III came off the bench to drill a pair of 3s to draw Marquette within one. The OC then put home a couple of bunnies and notched a pair of free throws to finish the first half with 12 points, eclipsing his career high. Meanwhile, PC was doing its best to throw the game away with 11 turnovers (including 6 by Kris Dunn all by himself), but a couple of triples from LaDontae Henton kept Providence close, and at halftime, the score was knotted at 33.
After the break, Marquette came out blazing, making six of its first seven field goal attempts to open a 48-44 lead. The recently-maligned Matt Carlino shook out of his funk to score 8 points (including a pair of triples) before the first timeout of the second half, and Juan Anderson took over from there, hitting a 3 to stake MU to a 6-point advantage and then converting a lay-in to balloon the margin to 12. Things got a little dicey from there, as Luke Fischer picked up an extraordinarily ticky-tack foul and had to sit with four and, sans Fisch, the Golden Eagles resorted to some of the bad habits that ruined the game against DePaul (note to team: when you have a lead in the second half, you're allowed to look at the hoop in the first 25 seconds of the shot clock).
A couple more Henton bombs (he finished with 28 on the strength of a 6-13 showing from deep) cut the margin to four, but after some Adventures in Press Breaking, Fischer got loose for a dunk and a layup in the final 2 minutes, and a 6-8 performance at the charity stripe in last 50 seconds salted the victory away. Anderson led Marquette with 18 points, Fischer added 11 and Carlino 10 (plus Cohen's 12), and Jajuan Johnson (not a typo) led everybody with 10 rebounds. As a team, Marquette snagged a staggering 14 offensive rebounds and had 12 steals while holding PC to 40% shooting from the field.
Marquette is now 1-1 in conference, as are the Friars. And somehow, everybody in BIG EAST is looking up at DePaul, which apparently won again today against Xavier. In a related story: these are probably the end times, so hug your loved ones.
Until tomorrow, then, this is your post-game jubilation thread.