Less than 24 hours after Jamil Wilson exploded into a ball of fire from behind the three-point arc, Maurice Acker decided it was his turn. The guy who shot a cool 49.5% from behind the arc as a senior for Marquette back in 2010 drained seven of his 10 long range attempts, including the game winner, as Golden Eagles defeated Hall In, 96-76, in the final game of the Big East pod of The Basketball Tournament. Acker finished with a game high 25 points, and he topped the charts in assists with nine as well.
Golden Eagles now advance to the Super 16 round of TBT, making at least that far for the third time in as many years of participation in the event. They’ll have to wait and see who they’ll face, as the rest of the Northeast region doesn’t take place until July 20-22. Either way, we know that the former MU guys will be in Atlanta on Saturday, July 28, looking to advance to their third straight quarterfinal game.
Early on it wasn’t a guarantee that would happen though. As was the case on Saturday, things started out raggedy for Golden Eagles on the offensive end. At the end of nine minutes, they trailed 22-19 and it seemed like this one might turn into a fight the rest of the way. NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND! The former MU guys fired off 33 points in the second period, outpacing the former Seton Hall players by 15 and riding into halftime with a 52-40 advantage. The big key was a 14-0 run in the middle of the quarter as MU flipped the script around.
They weren’t content with that 12 point margin, though, and outscored Hall In by nine, 28-19, in the third to essentially put a lid on the competitive portion of this contest. The final timed five minutes were essentially academic, and the Elam Ending went off without much of a hitch before Acker got the honors to push MU up and over the Target Score.
He’s not going to get a lot of credit, as Jamil Wilson’s 19 points on 5-of-10 shooting from long range turned a lot of heads, but Elgin Cook has been invaluable to Golden Eagles over the past two days. I know, right? A guy who started every game for an Oregon squad that made the Elite Eight is good?? WHO KNEW?? Even though he might not have a lot of experience playing with the Marquette guys, Cook has been filling in the gaps quite nicely, and finished this game with 17 points, six rebounds, an assist, and two steals. He’s not a guy that you’re keeping an eye on with the MU star power on the team, but you end up noticing Cook doing something right or smart on a regular basis.
Marquette’s goal in this game had to be to contain Quenton DeCosey and Jeremy Hazell. They were the two guys who had the biggest impact on Hall In’s win over Jack Attack on Saturday, with both guys recording a double-double. They were held to a combined 15 points and six rebounds in this one. In fact, holding Hazell, the originator of the #VOLUMESHOOTERALERT around these parts, to just six long range attempts was quite the defensive effort by Joe Chapman’s squad.
How about some highlights, courtesy of TheTournament.com?
Up Next: As mentioned earlier, Golden Eagles won’t return to action until July 28th in Atlanta, and they won’t know who their opponent will be until July 22nd. TBT overall resumes regional play on Friday, July 13, with both the South and West regionals hashing out their participants in the Super 16 over a three day span. The Northeast and Midwest regions will play out the following weekend.