Marquette let a 12 point lead slip away over the final seven minutes on Saturday in Rhode Island, as they lost to Providence, 72-69. The Golden Eagles are now 17-11 on the season and 8-8 in Big East play.
Worse than the loss itself, Marquette’s at-large hopes are now teetering on the edge. By going 1-4 right after knocking off Villanova, Marquette extinguished all leeway that they had thanks to that win. They’ve now been swept by the Friars, a team that has a postseason profile that’s clinging to life largely because of what they accomplished today at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center.
Specifically, what they accomplished was holding MU without a field goal for the final 7:20 of the game. Matt Heldt scored his only field goal of the game at that juncture to make it 64-52 favoring Marquette. Just nine minutes earlier, Kyron Cartwright had scored to put the Friars up 1, but MU had outscored them 21-8 over that nine minutes and seemed to be seizing control.
Providence went on a 14-1 run from there. It was nothing overly egregious from the Golden Eagles. They just didn't get stops and didn't score a bucket. Sure, they had three turnovers in that run, but Providence turned it over twice themselves. Marquette had chance after chance after chance to stem the tide, to stop the bleeding, to reassert control.
They just didn't.
It wasn’t over at that point. A pair of freebies from Sam Hauser put Marquette up by 1 with 51 seconds left. But MU couldn't grab a rebound on a missed Cartwright shot, and Rodney Bullock got the rebound, his 10th of the game, and scored to put PC back in front. That gave MU one last chance to win it with 15 seconds left.
Jajuan Johnson drove, dished an awkward pass to Katin Reinhardt, who had to collect himself for a second, spun, and fired a fadeaway in the lane.... that missed.
The rebound went out off of Hauser, Isaiah Jackson sank two free throws after a foul, and MU’s prayer of forcing overtime died a quiet death when Reinhardt caught the inbounds....... and stepped out of bounds.
Up Next: Marquette will stay on the road for their next game as the attempt to salvage whatever remains of their chances at an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament when they visit Xavier on Wednesday.