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The Bad & The Absolute Trash: St. John’s 88, Marquette 86

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The Golden Eagles got run off the court in the first half. That’s all that matters.

NCAA Basketball: Marquette at Georgetown Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This recap is being written 1) during the second half and 2) while I’m watching Marquette men’s lacrosse play Robert Morris at Valley Fields.

Why, you ask? Well, there’s no point in actually watching the men’s basketball team in the second half against St. John’s at Madison Square Garden. The Golden Eagles were completely outclassed almost from the get-go and trailed 47-28 at the break. Marquette turned it over 39% of the time in the first half, and scored just 0.78 points per possession as a result.

It would be one thing if Marquette was just on the struggle bus on their own end, but the defense was arguably worse, giving up 1.31 points per possession. A lot of that has to do with the 14 turnovers by the Golden Eagles, of course, because that meant a bunch of easy possessions and scores for the Red Storm.

Let’s see, what else do we need to mention? Oh, right, St. John’s started the game out on a 12-0 run, even though this is a game that Markus Howard called a must-win following the loss to DePaul earlier in the week. Even though Marquette would avoid the 7/10 first day Big East tournament game if they won. Even though Marquette needed a win to just finish .500 in league play. 12-0 Johnnies run to open the game.

Marquette almost immediately answered with a 12-0 run of their own. Not coincidentally, the run coincided with head coach Steve Wojciechowski subbing out Theo John, Koby McEwen, and Brendan Bailey from the game. Those three have been struggling mightily for the Golden Eagles as the team has been in the midst of a second straight late season collapse. We got a bit of an actual game for a bit, and St. John’s ended up with an 18-16 lead.... and then Wojciechowski put his starters back on the court. IMMEDIATELY, St. John’s went on a 12-3 run.

You can’t make these things up.

Let’s go check on the score, shall we?

It’s 64-45 St. John’s with 13:37 left to go in the game. So literally nothing has changed in the first six and a half minutes of the second half. That’s super great.

Back to watching lacrosse and waiting for this idiot game to end.

Ryan Fazio scored for Marquette, so let’s check on the score. 64-52, Johnnies, 11:28 to play. 12 point lead. Whatever.

Timeout Marquette late, tied at 10, so let’s see the score, shall we? 69-58, 9:34 to go. That’s closer, but we’ve seen this goofball drill before against Seton Hall on Senior Day.

Robert Morris goes up 11-10 with just seconds left, so let’s see. 72-62, 7:35 to go. I did see the lead was down to nine for a second there. Yaaaaaay.

Marquette loses the lacrosse game, and the hoops is not over. I turn it on to see the score at 74-67. And then St. John’s misses a dunk and the Golden Eagles give up an and-1 to fall behind by 10. Makes sense.

Okay, so here’s the thing. Marquette figured out a way to cut the lead all the way down to two on an and-1 by Sacar Anim with 44 seconds left. They had a chance to tie or take the lead with 11 seconds left, and then Markus Howard was stripped in the lane after it looked wide open for him for a second. St. John’s missed the ensuing two free throws, and Jamal Cain started dribbling with 2.6 seconds left instead of heaving a prayer, and he lost the ball, too.

Your final: St. John’s 88, Marquette 86.

The lesson as always: Don’t trail by 19 at the half, and don’t fall behind by 21 in the second half.