No matter what the scoreboard said at the end of the night, we were gonna spend more than a minute or two talking about Justin Lewis in this recap that you’re reading right now. The freshman from Baltimore came up in a big way all game long for the Golden Eagles and was definitely punching above his experience against #4 ranked Wisconsin in his 27 minutes of action at Fiserv Forum.
And then D.J. Carton drew a blocking foul with 0.9 left on the clock with Marquette trailing 65-64 after Nate Reuvers got free for a layup on the other end seconds earlier.
And then Carton hit his first free throw, tying the game up at 65 all.
And then, this, from Lewis.
That wingspan much longer than his height would suggest came in handy as he was able to track the bounce on Carton’s short game winning attempt, leap, put only one hand on the ball, and flick it back at the rim as the clock wound to zero before it fell in. 67-65, Marquette wins, giving them their first win over a ranked foe since topping #19 Butler back in February 2020, their first win over a top 10 team since beating #10 Villanova in January 2020, and their first win over a top five team since downing #1 Villanova in January 2017.
Lewis finishes with 18 points on 6-for-10 shooting along with eight rebounds and two blocks in the game. He came off the bench, but that didn’t stop him from leading the team in scoring on the night, which he was already doing before his game winner that will prevent him from ever once buying a beer once he turns 21 and starts attending Murphy’s regularly in a couple of years. It was also the high score total for the game, as D’Mitrik Trice led the Badgers with only 17. Lewis also tied with fellow freshman Dawson Garcia for the top rebounding total in the game, as no Badger had more than six.
I’m saying that Lewis was really damn great in this game and his seemingly effortless job tipping that game winner in was merely icing on the cake.
Lewis was really damn great in a really damn great game. From the MU live stats package, neither team led by more than six points all night, and that game with the Badgers up 10-4 in the early going. Marquette’s biggest lead all night last came with just over five minutes to go and the Golden Eagles up 56-51. Wisconsin held a lead in this game for 10:18, while Marquette was holding an advantage for 23:27. It was back and forth and up and down and left and right and you go on a run and I go on a run and so on and so forth all night long. No one ever had a reason to feel comfortable with their lead and no one ever looked like they were about to break the game wide open.
In fact, everything from the — surprise — Lewis free throws that gave MU that five point lead with 5:39 to go was just absolutely super. Wisconsin scored six straight to wipe out the lead (okay, you get what I mean by super), Theo John drew an and-1, Tyler Wahl split a pair on the other end, Carton got to the rim and scored, Aleem Ford drained a three, Lewis cashed in a feed from Jamal Cain, Nate Reuvers got free on a roll to the rim for a layup, Carton went right down Broadway to put MU up, and finally, Trice’s jumper to set up Carton and Lewis for the finale.
Big plays, back and forth, both teams executing well, giving the other guys their best possible shot, dueling to the end. What’s not to like?
How about some highlights?
Up Next: The Golden Eagles will be back in action on Tuesday night when they host their northern neighbors instead of their western neighbors. Green Bay will be coming to town after they tangle with Eastern Illinois on Saturday. The Phoenix are 0-2 on the year with a 30 point loss to Minnesota and a 40 point loss to this Badgers team.