It's rare to have a non-conference game wedged into the middle of the Big East season. But that's exactly what YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles had on their hands, as they welcomed the Stetson Hatters to the BC Wednesday night. The Hatters took time off from their busy schedule of finishing 8th in the Atlantic Sun to fly up to Milwaukee for a game that had all the excitement you'd expect from a game in mid-December.
Like so many of those early season classics, this game started out well for Marquette. They blitzed the over-matched Hatters, and quickly ran out to a 24-2 lead. They looked good offensively and defensively, as you would hope they would against a team like Stetson (no offense). The moved the ball. They attacked the rim. They even made jumpers. Life was good in the first half, and MU went to the locker room up by 26.
Unfortunately, the Golden Eagles didn't appear to realize they were going to still have to play the 2nd half. They allowed Stetson to reel off an 11-2 run to open the half, and to eventually whittle the lead down to just 9. But the game never got any closer than that. Led by Jajuan Johnson's career high, 22 points, MU was able to stabilize things and coast to the 14-point victory. I hope the regulars are apologizing to Michael Mache and Cam Marotta, because those boys should have gotten some run tonight. If MU had kept the pedal down in the 2nd half, this should have been a 20+ point victory. But hey, at least we didn't lose.
Marquette will get back to playing teams with a pulse on Saturday, when Butler comes calling. It's an early start (11:00 CST), so be sure to set your alarm and schedule your Kegs & Eggs appropriately. And hopefully whatever lessons were learned from tonight's glorified practice, can be used to get MU a big conference win. See you all at the BC.