YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles played good basketball for about 12 minutes today, which, in the end, made the final line respectable but wasn't nearly enough to upset Ed Cooley's 25th-ranked Providence Friars, who grabbed a 77-66 victory this afternoon at the Dunkin Donuts Center.
Marquette started the first half smokin', hitting 8 of its first 10 attempts from the floor with Duane Wilson ripping three 3-pointers and Luke Fischer hitting a couple layups. The lead was 17-11 for MU with 12:27 to go after Wilson's third triple, but then Providence went on a little 45-19 run, which kinda took the wind out of our sails a bit. Somehow, Marquette couldn't sustain its 80% shooting clip, and seven turnovers in the opening half didn't help things, and neither did the heapin' helpin' of LaDontae Henton, who brutalized MU for 9 points and 7 boards in the opening 20 minutes and grabbed seemingly every loose ball all afternoon long. Du. Wilson led Marquette with 9 points and Matt Carlino added 7, but Providence was in control at intermission, leading 40-29.
The second half went the way second halves have been going for the last six weeks: PC exploded for 14 points in the first 6 minutes of the half, and all Marquette could manage in the same stretch was a free throw from Juan Anderson. Making matters worse, Fischer picked up three fouls in the span of 90 seconds, and the margin was suddenly 24 for the Friars and MU looked primed to get run out of the gym for the second consecutive game. To their credit, the Golden Eagles kept coming, using four more 3-pointers from Du. Wilson and one from Carlino to trim the advantage to 71-66 with 2 minutes left. But that was as close as Marquette would get, and Providence salted away the game from the line to claim a 77-66 win.
Duane Wilson set a new career high with seven 3-pointers and led Marquette with 22 points, 3 rebounds, and 2 assists. Carlino looked like himself again -- for good and bad -- with 21 points but just a 3-11 showing from distance and 5 turnovers. Henton bulldozed his way to 25 points and a staggering 15 rebounds, while Kris Dunn was impressive as hell with a 16-9-5 line and 4 steals in limited minutes because of foul trouble.
With the loss, Marquette remains sprawled on the couch in the Big East basement, with a nasty 3-13 mark in conference and 11-17 record overall. Providence gets to 10 wins in the Big East and 20 wins for the season, so bully for them.
Only three post-game dejection threads left this year, folks, so make the most of 'em.