Oh. My. God.
I can’t even.
With Markus Howard relegated to the locker room after a brutal inadvertent elbow to the face mid-way through the second half, Sacar Anim and Koby McEwen took over for Marquette, finishing with 28 and 18 points respectively, and dragged Marquette to an 84-82 double overtime victory over Xavier on Wednesday night.
A lot happened.
Let’s try to fast forward a little bit here. Marquette survived having a six point lead when Howard left the game late in the first half with two fouls, and were up 39-33 at the break. That lead was gone at the 16:29 mark of the second half after a Tyrique Jones layup. Not good.
It got worse. The elbow to Howard’s face happened on his own missed shot, and KyKy Tandy drilled a three on the other end to make it a six point Xavier lead, 49-43. Shortly thereafter, Quentin Goodin hit one of his five three-pointers on the night — Aside: Quentin Goodin now has five three-pointers in eight Big East games — and the Musketeers were up 53-45 with 9:08 to go.
It’s not what you want.
Four straight free throws from Anim kicked off an 8-0 Marquette run, though, and with five minutes to go, everything was all knotted up at 53. I don’t have the numbers easily available to me, and I’m not going to go play-by-play fishing now, but neither team wanted to hit a shot after Xavier took that eight point lead. There was pretty much a permanent graphic on the screen, depending on who had the ball, pointing out how long that team had gone without a field goal. It was not pleasant, but hey, Marquette wasn’t losing by eight, so silver linings.
However, after two free throws from Goodin and a jumper from Paul Scruggs, Xavier found themselves up five with 1:46 to go. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, KOBY MCEWEN. After coming up HYOOOOOOOGE late in regulation against Butler last Friday, McEwen activated his afterburners again, jamming a monster triple out of a timeout that I admittedly did not want him to shoot until it went in, and then followed a hilariously awful Naji Marshall offensive foul with a jumper to knot the game at 58. Then, after Jones coughed it up on the other end, McEwen induced Marshall into fouling him whilst shooting a three. Bang, bang, bang, 61-58.
I think Symir Torrence fouled. I saw him put two hands on Quentin Goodin. That’s a foul. It wasn’t called. Goodin flipped to Marshall, who was standing in approximately Dayton at the time and is shooting 30% from long range on the year..... who hit nothing but the bottom of the net. Tied. Overtime.
In overtime, McEwen kept doing Last Minute Heroics Koby McEwen things. And-1 layups on consecutive possessions had Marquette up 67-64, and then he rebounded his own miss while drawing a foul to make it 68-66, and then he induced Scruggs into coughing it up to Anim. MU couldn’t convert, Marshall got two freebies to fall after Brendan Bailey fouled out, tied at 68, and even though Marquette had a perfect two-for-one opportunity, even with a bit of fumbling around to end Xavier’s possession, they couldn’t put points on the board, and thus: another extra five minutes.
LIKE I SAID, THERE’S A LOT GOING ON HERE.
It was Anim’s time to shine in the second OT, opening up with two free throws after he made a fantastic effort to get an offensive rebound, and then answering another Goodin triple with one of his own. Goodin answered back to put Xavier out in front, 74-73, but Marshall’s fifth foul of the game set Theo John to the line where he split his two and knotted it at 74.
Scruggs scored, Anim answered. Scruggs missed, Jamal Cain hauled it in, and out of a time out, Anim did this:
I remember thinking at the time : oh, what a neat play design, feint screen from John into the pick and pop chance for McEwen, smart, he’s hot, oh, real screen from John, OH NO THEY SAGGED YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS.
It didn’t quite turn into ice it from there territory. Marquette fouled up 3, but there was 33 seconds left. Symir Torrence split a pair and Cain sank two to make it 82-77 with 19 seconds left. Feels over. It wasn’t.
Scruggs scored in something resembling a hurry, and McEwen got sent to the line, but split a pair. 4 point lead. Marquette played more defense than I really felt was necessary with a four point lead and only eight seconds left, leading to a Zach Freemantle three-pointer, 83-82.
Sacar Anim was fouled on the inbound, but split his throws. Two point game. Xavier inbounding. They throw it deep. It’s a little bobbly, but Tyrique Jones ends up with it.
And he passes it. 18 feet away or so. Passes. Isn’t a clean pass, Xavier never gets a shot up. Horn. Final. Marquette wins, throw confetti, count the Quadrant 1 victory, get on a plane, never speak of this again.
Anim’s 28 is a career high for the redshirt senior, and he was great, getting those points on 8-for-14 shooting and 5-for-9 from behind the arc. His five rebounds, two assists, four steals and a block? You get those for free. McEwen finishes with 18 points, including 9-for-11 from the line, along with five rebounds and an assist. He scored all 18 in the final 15 minutes of the game, counting the 10 extra minutes of overtime. Howard hd a great 25 minute performance, getting 18 points, two rebounds, three assists, and a steal before leaving due to injury.
How about some highlights, and at only 2 minutes, this is probably the abridged version, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FS1?
Up Next: DO NOT LOSE TO DEPAUL ON SATURDAY, DAMMIT.