If you're familiar with David Crosby's song "Deja Vu" -- and, really, how are we friends if you're not familiar with David Crosby's song "Deja Vu"? -- you'll recall that the song ends with the refrain of "we have all been here before" six times.
At last count, after today's all-too-familiar but newly-disappointing 72-68 overtime loss to the irksome Bulldogs of Butler, YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles are now sitting on four "we have all been here befores" on this Big East season. Today's loss, like the DePaul loss and the Xavier loss and the Georgetown (home) loss before it, featured the same galling mistakes down the stretch, and it ended with us again scratching our heads and saying "how is it that we're not learning ANYTHING from these games?"
Butler jumped all over Marquette in the first 2 minutes of the game, as a Kellen Dunham jumper and an Alex Barlow 3-pointer gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead right out of the gates. Marquette responded with a 5-0 spurt of its own on a Luke Fischer three-point play and a coast-to-coast layup by Derrick Wilson. After a triple and a lay-in from a dude on Butler whose last name is in desperate need of more vowels, MU would knot the score at 12-12 thanks to a pure-as-snow 3-pointer from Matt Carlino and another layup from Fischer. But with both teams frosty from the field (Marquette was 9-28 from the floor and 2-8 from distance, while the Bulldogs could only manage 12-32 and 2-7), Butler would maintain a slim advantage for the rest of the half. A nifty steal and dish from Carlino led to Duane Wilson's and-1 layup with 38 seconds left, and at the half, Butler was up 29-26.
The second half started on a much happier note, as Du. Wilson converted another steal and dunk, Carlino drilled a deep 3, and Fischer converted a layup to give MU its first lead of the game at 33-32. Juan Anderson stretched that margin to four with a 3-pointer, but Butler answered with a bunny by Roosevelt Jones (his first basket of the game, with 16 minutes left in the second half) and a bomb from Barlow to regain the lead at 37-36. But MU again took the lead on Fischer's layup (the last points he'd score on the day), and for the next 10 minutes, the Golden Eagles held the Bulldogs at arm's length.
And then, with 5 minutes to play and Marquette up 6, Butler coach Chris Holtmann caught a T for protesting a non-call. Matt Carlino hit the freebies and Du. Wilson sank a pretty jumper from two feet inside the 3-point line, and suddenly what had been a tight affair throughout was a 10-point cushion for the good guys, and, if you're like me, you were thinking "cool, I was hoping one of the games we would win that we shouldn't win would come against Butler."
Oh, silly us.
Holtmann's technical had its desired effect for the visitors, as it intimidated another shitty Big East officiating crew and gained the Bulldogs plenty of favorable whistles the rest of the way. Throw in some horrid, stall for a contested jumper with 2 seconds left on the shot clock offense from YOUR Golden Eagles, and MU's lead evaporated completely when Dunham hit a jumper with 26 seconds left. Butler had fouls to give on the ensuing Marquette possession, and they gave one when the ball found its way to Carlino, and then tried to give another when the ball was inbounded to Carlino, but there was no whistle (did we mention the refs looked intimidated after Holtmann's T?) and the ball went back to Butler after the ball caromed off Carlino's leg out of bounds. Roosevelt Jones' desperation heave didn't connect, and we went to overtime.
And much like the overtime against Georgetown a week ago, MU simply didn't have the stamina required for an extra 5 minutes. A steal and layup by Juan Anderson got Marquette within 1 with 10 seconds to play, but Kellen Dunham hit four free throws to seal it for Butler.
Carlino, as per usual, led Marquette with 18, although his 6 assists were largely canceled out by 4 turnovers. Duane Wilson didn't play well at all but still managed 18 of his own (thanks to a 6-7 showing at the stripe), and Anderson managed 10 and 8. Captain Consonant Andrew Chrabascz led everybody with a ridiculous 30-point, 7-rebound effort, Dunham added 17, and Alex Barlow chipped in an annoying 15.
With the loss, Marquette is riding a 5-game losing streak for the first time in 25 years, and the Golden Eagles are now 2-7 in conference and under .500 at 10-11 overall. Butler is 16-6 and 6-3 in the Big East and I don't like them.
Until tomorrow, then, this is your post-game dejection thread.