So, as you may have noticed from the Twitter contest I ran on Friday, I did not attend the Marquette men’s basketball game against Central Arkansas on Saturday afternoon. Belated family Christmas time takes priority over the final buy game of the season, y’know? In any case, we still need a recap of Marquette’s 106-54 smashing of the Bears, so this is what that is.
Here’s what the deal is: I’m going to watch the game as captured by my Hulu Plus Live TV DVR, and treat it like I would have tweeted during the game, essentially. The only difference here is that 1) I know how the game ends and 2) you’re not getting any in-arena bonus material. So here we go.
- No Koby McEwen here as he sprained his thumb in practice on Thursday. I’d lean towards McEwen missing Wednesday’s Big East opener against Creighton, too, but then again maybe this is just an issue of MU really shouldn’t need McEwen vs UCA.
- Jamal Cain gets the start in McEwen’s place, which is well deserved for the junior from Michigan based on his play in MU’s last few games.
- Markus Howard buries a three, nothing but net, on Marquette’s second possession of the game for his 355th career triple. That pushes him out of a tie with Steve Novak and into first place on the MU career three-point field goal chart. Yet another scoring record for the young man from Chandler, Arizona.
- Howard re-sets the record at 356 made threes on the next possession.
- Oh, dip, Central Arkansas head coach Russ Pennell is on a leave of absence for the rest of the season. I apologize for not catching that during the preview writing process. Then again, I admittedly wasn’t looking that hard to find it.
- Howard cashes his third three of the game putting Marquette up 13-2 on a 10-0 run, and UCA calls timeout. Coming back from the timeout, analyst Stephen Bardo makes a “cold outside, but hot in here” call. A little early in the game to pull that out of the bag, but hey, Howard has nine points already.
- Symir Torrence has a headband. Adjust your expectations as you see fit.
- The run gets to 13-0, and PBP man Chris Vosters makes a reference to Bardo getting his Big East news and notes warmed up. The announcing crew has already realized that this game is getting out of control.
- Jared Chatham gets a technical foul for barking at the ref after he banged into a stationary Symir Torrence on a made layup, and Howard snaps in two free throws to make it 18-6. Marquette ball, but Howard misses a three to end the chance of a five point possession.
- Rylan Bergersen has a free throw spin out and nearly come to a stop on the flat connection behind the rim. That’s a new one.
- Aaron Weidenaar gets called for a foul because Ed Morrow pushed him over. Maybe Weidenaar had already committed it and maybe was already toppling over as a result, but Morrow absolutely knocked him over, too.
- It’s 22-10 with 12:40 to go, and I know what the halftime score looks like. This game is about to get completely wild, isn’t it?
- Holy crap, this is the most informative and interesting that head coach Steve Wojciechowski has ever been in one of these in-game Inside The Huddle bits coming out of commercial. Maybe it’s because Marquette’s up decently big already and he can focus on finer point things heading into Big East play?
- Markus Howard gets a circus shot and-1 but misses the free throw. It was a neat play by Howard who got free in the lane and realized he was going to draw the contact as he got closer to the rim.
- And then he follows that with a 70 foot pass to Bailey for a baseline jam off a UCA turnover. That was also pretty slick.
- The announcers wonder if Villanova is getting too much credit for their recent history with two national championships. Uh, didn’t they just beat #1 Kansas?
- 10-0 run for the Golden Eagles over the last 1:40 and counting. Uh, that’s a really quick 10-0 run, huh?
- Graphic goes up on the screen: DePaul has won seven straight games. That is a lie. It’s three straight since losing to Buffalo. What the hell? That’s not even getting their season opening winning streak in the wrong spot, because they opened up 9-0.
- Another long pass for Howard, this time to Greg Elliott for a quick three. If Howard is going to counter teams picking him up at half court by throwing passes over the encroaching defense like this, that’s going to really help Marquette in terms of fast break opportunities.
- The lead hits 30 for the first time on a free throw from Elliott, capping a 9-0 run. This is officially out of control.
- Arena size gets discussed. “Central Arkansas’ gym fits between five and six thousand, this is at least double that....”. Try triple, bucko.
- So so so so so so many Central Arkansas fouls, and a lot of them are kind of bad. You draw contact at the rim, oh well. You foul a guy 40 feet from the rim, you’re just being careless.
- HALFTIME: Marquette 57, Central Arkansas 24. That’s a real score in a real 20 minutes of basketball.
- Points per possession: Marquette — 1.39; Central Arkansas — 0.59
- Halftime stat notes: Marquette has an eFG of 67.9%! Turnover rate is just 14.6%, which is super amazing for Marquette. UCA has handed Marquette 29 trips to the free throw line in the first 20 minutes, which gives the Golden Eagles a free throw rate of — this is not a joke — 103.6%. 29 free throw attempts, 28 field goal attempts.
- It’s a little disconcerting seeing Jeffery Wright in a commercial for Dell Technologies after watching Westworld.
- oh wow Marquette went to a post touch for Theo John to open the second half what are the chances. John converted the bucket and rattled in the free throw. NEAT.
- John gets a technical foul after a dunk not because of the knee lift or the hang, but because he picked up the ball afterwards and snapped it at the UCA guys waiting to inbound it. Yep, that’s 100% the right call.
- A rough go of things for Marquette as Brendan Bailey commits an unnecessary foul as he gets beat on a drive and picks up a ding to his leg to go with it, then the Golden Eagles don’t realize that the foul wasn’t a shooting foul and UCA gets an easy layup on the undefended inbound, and then after a timeout by Wojciechowski, Ed Morrow commits an offensive foul by hooking his defender. Up 37, so it’s not gamebreaking, but you don’t like the mental lapses.
- The lead hits 40 for the first time on a Symir Torrence triple, and then coming back the other way, he hits Ed Morrow in transition for a dunk on an absurd bounce pass and Aaron Weidenaar’s fifth foul of the game.
- Less than six minutes into the second half, Central Arkansas is in the bonus, and Marquette is just one foul away. Holy crap this is going to take forever to finish.
- In transition, Elliott flips to Sacar Anim, who cuts back to the middle and kicks to Torrence for the wide open triple. My goodness, that’s one way to push the lead to 50 for the first time, that’s for sure.
- Ed Morrow finds himself playing the Charles Smith against the Chicago Bulls role, and it eventually turns into a held ball and UCA gets possession.
- Oh, hey, two bigs lineup.
- A conversation about the noon ball games breaks out with Marquette up 49, 95-46. Might be time to update that note in the ol’ broadcast manual, as Wojciechowski said on the radio a few weeks ago that he is officially retired from playing after shredding his knee right before his 40th birthday.
- Brendan Bailey fouls out with about four minutes to go. He has nine points, 12 rebounds, and four assists, and I really feel like he shouldn’t have been all that worried about playing hard enough to rack up those fouls for most of the second half, especially after that ding to his leg.
- Marquette hits 100 for the second time this season on a hook shot from Jayce Johnson, and then Theo John splits a pair of free throws for a new team season high in points in a game with 102.
- YEEEEESH, both for the violence of the jam as well as UCA completely losing contain on the guy with the ball.
- I really enjoy the at-length discussion from Bardo about why the walk-ons (including noted on scholarship guy Tommy Gardiner, but you get the point) aren’t in the game muuuuuuuuuch earlier than they were.
- But it ended up leading to this:
- NEAT. Watch it again to see the bench lose their flipping minds about the spin cycle from Gardiner.
YOUR FINAL FROM FISERV FORUM: Marquette 106, Central Arkansas 54.
Markus Howard leads all scorers with 30 points on just 13 field goal attempts, while Rylan Bergersen gets just 10 to lead the way for the Bears. Four guys hit double digits in scoring for Marquette and another three finish with nine points. That’s a really impressive team performance even with one guy getting 30 points.
Up Next: Creighton in Omaha on New Year’s Day.