Markus Howard fouled out. Matt Heldt fouled out. Theo John fouled out.
Given this knowledge and nothing else, you probably would’ve guessed Marquette lost to No. 19 Purdue.
You would’ve been right! Your Marquette Golden Eagles lost by a score of 86 to 71 to Matt Painter’s Purdue Boilermakers, who were led by 22 points from 7’2” center Isaac Haas. From his first bucket 7 seconds into the game, there was pretty much nothing Marquette could do to stop Haas in the paint. He absolutely gave Matt Heldt the business for much of the night, and Theo John for the rest of it. The pair of MU’s big men combined for 3 points, 2 assists, 1 rebound and, as I mentioned above, a grand total of 10 fouls. Sources close to the NCAA have told Anonymous Eagle that that is the maximum number of fouls allowed for two players.
Marquette was led by Andrew Rowsey and Markus Howard, which will likely be a recurring theme this season. Rowsey dropped 25 on 8-17 shooting (4-9 from beyond the arc), went 5-6 from the line, pulled down 3 boards and dished out 6 assists (but 5 turnovers). Howard had 24 of his own on 8-13 (4-8) and 4-4 from the line.
The rest of the team…was not great. Sam Hauser had 12 and 8, but couldn’t get much going inside. The team overall shot 40.4 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from beyond the arc. One of those is good, the other one is not. The Golden Eagles largely looked lost, either getting swallowed up inside or swarmed on the perimeter. There were way too many contested threes for my own sanity, but I suppose it helps when two of the best shooters in the country are suited up for the good guys. Unfortunately, two guys (especially two that are less than six feet tall) can’t carry a team.
Despite their troubles defending and making shots, the Golden Eagles made a late 11-2 push in the first half to cut the lead to 2 going into halftime. But by that point, it was already clear that Marquette didn’t have the size or speed to keep things close with Purdue. The second half saw a few runs by Steve Wojciechowski’s squad to keep things interesting, but eventually Purdue began to pull away. Once Markus Howard fouled out and Sam Hauser was left to guard whoever was in at center for Purdue, all hope was lost.
Purdue is a good team. They got great contributions from Carsen Edwards (15 points, 6 boards), Vince Edwards (10 points, 8 boards) and Dakota Mathias (10 points, 5 boards, 4 assists, excellent defense). They’ll likely be one of the best Marquette plays all season, and certainly one of the best in the non-con part of the schedule. Still though, Marquette had some serious flaws exposed. The post will be a glaring weakness until Harry Froling becomes eligible, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll solve Marquette’s defensive problems.
Play of the Game: We at least got a second #TheThing of the season!
So close to another Andrew Rowsey lefty 4-point play. He hits all three free throws to tighten things up here in Milwaukee. pic.twitter.com/n0d1abYiY3— MarquetteMBB (@MarquetteMBB) November 15, 2017
Player of the Game: It’s gotta be Rowsey. His 25 points kept Marquette in the game, and he hit a lot of key shots when it was still within spitting distance. Plus, he did a pretty good job moving the ball. It seems like he’ll do most of the ball-handling when he and Howard are on the floor, which is fine with me. Turnovers are usually a sign of attacking, and that’s what Marquette needs! That’s two games, that’s two POTG for Rowsey. They won’t be the only two.
Up Next: Marquette will next hit the court in beautiful Maui, Hawaii, against VCU in the Maui Invitational. The Rams are 2-0 on the season, but they’ll tangle with Virginia before jetting westward. This should be a great experience for a young team, and hopefully they can come home with a win or two (or three).