While clinging to a one goal lead in the third quarter, Marquette gave up four straight goals to #4 Duke and ended up with an 11-7 loss on Saturday. The Golden Eagles are now 6-6 on the season and will have to win the Big East tournament for the second straight season in order to make it into the NCAA tournament in 2017.
For about 38 minutes on Saturday, Marquette looked like they had a clear chance to upset the #4 ranked team in the country. Duke never got more than two goals in front of Marquette in the first half, peaking at that two goal mark twice, including at halftime at 5-3. Goals from Andy DeMichiei, Joseph Dunn, and Grant Preisler to open the third quarter wiped out that two goal margin and put the Golden Eagles up 6-5 with 8:46 left to go.
That was the peak of the game for Marquette, as they would not score again until the 8:41 mark of the fourth quarter, just a shade over one full 15 minute segment later. In between Preisler’s marker and Griffin Connor’s strike, the Blue Devils found the back of the net four times to jump out to hold a 9-6 lead, trimmed to 9-7 by Connor’s goal.
While that’s bad, of course, two goals with over eight minutes to play isn’t an insurmountable margin. Justin Guterding made it a three goal game, though, a bit over a minute later, and that became kind of difficult, and when Guterding wrapped up his hat trick with three minutes and change to go to make it 11-7, that was that.
Dunn led Marquette’s scoring efforts with two goals, while Tanner Thomson had a goal and two assists for the team high in points on the day. Cole Blazer made 13 saves in the game, including seven in the first half to keep the Golden Eagles within shouting distance.
How about some highlights, courtesy of CBS Sports Network and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles wrap up the regular season with a home date against Denver this coming Saturday. The Pioneers are 10-2 on the season and 4-0 in Big East play. Thanks to their 12-2 win over Providence on Saturday, Denver wrapped up the #1 seed in the Big East tournament, but can still clinch the outright regular season title with a win over Marquette. The Pios were ranked #3 in the country last week and have a chance to be #1 for Saturday’s game after Syracuse struggled with Binghamton and Maryland lost in overtime to Ohio State.