At the end of the day, it was a non-Marquette alum that gave Golden Eagles, the MU alumni team, the 76-67 victory in the Super 16 round of this year’s version of The Basketball Tournament. With Golden Eagles needing just one point to close it out, Dwight Buycks took it to the rack, but hired gun Jarvis Williams hauled it in and stuck it back for the Elam Ending winner.
It was a bit of a shaky end to the proceedings, which somewhat makes sense given that it was a shaky start to the game for the Marquette guys. They fell behind 10-5 out of the gate and just seemed out of sorts all around...... right up until they ripped off nine straight to take a four point lead. That got the engine in gear, and things just kept on moving in the right direction after that. Hot early shooting from Golden Eagles propelled them forward to a 24-19 lead at the end of the first quarter and a 45-32 lead at the half.
That shooting, powered by a 19 point first half from Darius Johnson-Odom (not Johnson-Odem, ESPN graphics people), faded out on the Marquette guys in the second half. Their effective field goal percentage drifted downwards from an absolutely blazing 81.3% at the break to just 62.5% by the time the game was over. Still, it looked like they were going to coast comfortably to a win in this one. That 13 point margin eventually drifted as high as 17 at two points late in the third quarter, first on a triple from Buycks with 2:46 to go, then on an offensive rebound putback by TBT rookie Luke Fischer on MU’s very next possession. Things seemed to be going pretty well as the Marquette team led by 12, 61-49 at the end of the third quarter.
Of course, you’ll notice how they frittered away five points in less than two minutes there, and a bucket from CP3’s Codi Miller-McIntyre cut the margin to just 10 when he broke the ice on the final frame. A fadeaway by Nate Mason with 5:15 to play pulled his squad within eight of Golden Eagles, the first single digit lead in quite a while, and Miller-McIntyre made it an eight point margin again before Derrick Wilson committed a foul with 3:58 on the clock to start the Elam Ending.
A triple by Diante Baldwin made it a five point game, and a free throw from CJ Harris made it 67-63. Four point game. After an Elgin Cook traveling violation, Mason scored again for Team CP3, and it was just a pair of points from being tied. That’s a 6-0 run for Chris Paul’s squad in the Elam Ending, and the visions of their amazing comeback in the untimed section on Saturday was suddenly thrusting itself forward in my mind. Appropriately enough, it was a Jarvis Williams free throw that finally put points on the board for the Marquette squad, and thanks to the Elam Ending foul rules — one shot and the ball — Jamil Wilson buried a hyoooooooooooooooooooooge four-point-play immediately after to give Marquette five of the necessary eight points to win the game.
Team CP3 came up empty on the other end, thanks to a block by Wilson on an attempted three by Mason, and Buycks took it to the rack to get Golden Eagles within one point of the Target Score. Harris would cash in a pair of free throws on the other end, and then, well, you know what happened to close it out.
DJO finished with 21 points to lead both teams in scoring, even though that means he only scored two after halftime. Jamil Wilson was absurd, going for 14 points and 11 rebounds, along with two assists, a steal, and two blocks. Buycks had 12/5/5 to round out the double digit scorers for Golden Eagles. Miller-McIntyre had 18 to lead Team CP3 in defeat.
Up Next: Golden Eagles is off until Friday when they’ll play #12 seed Brotherly Love in the quarterfinals. Brotherly Love beat #21 Stillwater Stars in the first round and then got a bye out of the Super 16 round after Eberlein Drive was removed from the tournament due to a positive coronavirus test result. Tipoff for that one is scheduled for 1pm Central time on ESPN.