After a week off to lick their wounds following last Saturday's gut-punch loss to Creighton, a trip to the friendly confines of Allstate Arena cured the ails for YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles, who romped to a 73-60 win over the shorthanded Blue Demons of DePaul.
To say that YOUR Golden Eagles were a bit rusty after the layoff would definitely qualify as an understatement; Marquette turned the ball over on its first two possessions of the game and coughed up the rock seven times in the first 10 minutes of action. Fortunately, DePaul wasn't interested in converting those turnovers into points (just four points on MU's first 7 TOs), and more fortunately, the Blue Demons were just as happy to get sloppy with the ball themselves, turning it over on 12 possessions in the first half alone.
When they weren't tripping over their own feet, though, the Golden Eagles were getting plenty of good looks, most especially Haanif Cheatham, who hit his first 3 attempts from 3-point range and made 4-4 attempts from the stripe to lead all scorers with 13 at halftime. DePaul took its time adjusting to the absence of its second-leading scorer, Billy Garrett, Jr. (who had to sit with a foot injury suffered against St. John's earlier in the week), and a Henry Ellenson 3-ball from the corner with 6:23 til intermission stretched Marquette's lead to double digits at 24-14. Luke Fischer shook off a rough start to finish the half with 8 points, Ellenson added 7, and at the half, Marquette led, 37-26.
In the second half, Fischer and Cheatham picked up right where they left off, with Fischer contributing a dunk and a hook and Cheatham converting an and-1 to fuel a 7-0 burst that pushed MU's advantage to 18 right out of the gates. Cheatham hit two more triples to finish 5-for-7 from 3-point range on the day, and after taking their foot off the gas in the last 5 minutes of the game, Marquette avenged its worst loss of the season with a 73-60 win.
Cheatham was man of the match with 20 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 assists, and I'm kinda starting to see why some people think Marquette might not be much worse for wear when Ellenson jumps to the NBA. Ellenson managed 14 and 9, and Fischer came alive with 16 points against the overmatched Blue Demon front line.
Also: four days ago, the Chicago Tribune published this.
With the win, Marquette sits at 17-10 (6-8) on the year. DePaul falls to 8-18 (2-12).