Powered by 26 points from Jamil Wilson, Golden Eagles, your favorite Marquette alumni team, ended up rolling to a relatively easy 79-62 win over #8 seed and Memphis regional champion Jackson TN Underdawgs in the quarterfinals of The Basketball Tournament on Thursday night.
It did not start as well as it ended, though. The Tennessee guys started out on an 8-0 run and the MU team didn’t score until three and a half minutes had wound off the clock. By the end of the first quarter, it was down to a three point margin after three free throws from Elgin Cook right at the end, so that was better. Dwight Buycks put Golden Eagles up for the first time at 21-20, and as the second quarter progressed, things started to look good. A 15-0 run put them up 32-20, but they would only manage a Buycks freebie the rest of the half, and it was 33-32 at the break.
The Underdawgs reclaimed the lead early in the third on a layup by Jaylen Barford and would lead by as many as three in the middle section of the quarter. A 10-2 run by the Marquette team triggered by a triple from Mo Acker got things moving again, but they needed a long range bomb from Travis Diener, fresh off his beer-related load management, to lead by eight, 56-48, heading to the final frame.
As the fourth quarter progressed, Jackson TN Underdawgs just couldn’t get any movement on the lead. Then MU put together a stretch of seven points in the span of a minute, and the lead was suddenly 16. The capper was a bomb of a triple by Jamil Wilson with 4:01 left to go, and as the Underdawgs inbounded, it was under four minutes, so Diener gave the foul to trigger the Elam Ending.
Was it a fun Elam Ending? No, not in the slightest. Officially, the scoring in that stretch was 8-7 favoring Golden Eagles, but it was 7-1 favoring the Underdawgs to start with. Then: freebies by Wilson, a floater by Buycks, and then BANG, the winner from Wilson from downtown to move the Marquette alumni on to Sunday’s semifinals.
So, yeah, Jamil Wilson was pretty good in this game. 26 points on 9-for-16 shooting, including 4-of-7 from long range. Four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks were just icing on the cake, if we’re being honest.
Dwight Buycks added an efficient 16 points to the proceedings, along with five rebounds, and three helpers. Elgin Cook was quiet with just nine points, but a big seven rebounds helped along with three each in assists and steals, not to mention four blocks.
Up Next: Well, we don’t quite know for sure. We know the game is at Wintrust Arena in Chicago on Sunday, August 4, at 1pm Central time. We just don’t know the opponent. It will either be Team Hines or Brotherly Love, and they won’t play their quarterfinal contest until Friday night at 8:30pm Central time. Presumably the extra day of rest will give the Marquette guys a little extra advantage, but we’ll see what happens.