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The Finally & The It Ended: Marquette 77, DePaul 71

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The Golden Eagles prevail in Chicago to give themselves a chance to finish the regular season at .500.

Marquette v North Carolina
That D.J. Carton chap seems okay.
Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

Marquette Golden Eagles men’s basketball finished Tuesday night’s trip to Wintrust Arena with an effective field goal percentage of 52.7%. They only turned the ball over 14 times, which amounts to just 18% of possessions. They got to the free throw line a metric ton, making 19 of their 25 attempts for a reasonably respectable 76%.

How in the bloody hell did they struggle to win by six against DePaul, 77-71?

Oh, right, because DePaul was involved. All rules of common sense and decency are out the window when the Blue Demons are involved.

It’s a little unfair to say MU struggled, honestly. It was a nine point lead with 1:54 to play, and it took the Blue Demons until there was 50 seconds remaining to cut it to just five. Things had been looking up for Marquette late in the second half ever since DePaul took a 52-51 lead on a Pauly Paulicap layup with 6:19 to go. MU scored the next five points to bump themselves out in front and jump off a 19-9 burst that ultimately decided the game.

Oh, and that burst was punctuated by this absolute posterizing by D.J. Carton.

That ain’t right, man.

I don’t want to say that was the dagger, because, honestly, it wasn’t.

DePaul gave Marquette chances to screw this up with their fouling after Ray Salnave cut it to 70-65 with 50 seconds to go. Marquette had to puzzle their way through the whole thing, but Jamal Cain (x2) and Koby McEwen (x4) hit their free throws to ice the game away.

It probably shouldn’t have even come to all of this, seeing as Marquette was up nine, 18-9, with 12:51 to play in the first half. Sure, that just means there was 32:51 to go, but things were running smoothly enough for MU. Between losing at home to DePaul earlier this year, the season in general being a complete disaster, and getting pantsed by UConn on Saturday after handing out a pantsing to North Carolina earlier in the week, you would have liked to have seen a better and more coherent effort from the Golden Eagles.

Didn’t get it.

Maybe that’s not anyone’s fault, as Theo John went through shootaround this afternoon but ended up out of the starting lineup with a non-COVID illness. He still played two minutes, though, but only those two minutes in the first half after a couple of fouls on Justin Lewis, who started in John’s stead. I’m not sure how he can be too sick to start but okay enough to give it a try after the game started. Seems impossible, and the fact that he didn’t come back after that quick stretch only emphasizes how ridiculous the whole thing was.

Anyway.

Carton’s dunk was two of his game high 20 points in this one, and he added seven rebounds, three assists, and two steals to the show. Dawson Garcia (12), Greg Elliott (11) and Koby McEwen (12) also got to at least 10 points in the game. Jamal Cain just barely missed a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds, while McEwen’s four assists topped the charts for the Golden Eagles on this night.

How about some highlights courtesy of FS1 and GoMarquette.com?

Up Next: HOLY CRAP, A HOME GAME?!?!? Remember those? Marquette running around on a court with their logo on it at Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee? Hasn’t been one of those since February 6th. Saturday’s home date against Xavier will be the final home game of the year and the final game of the regular season. MU is now 12-13 on the year with a 7-11 mark in Big East action, so fingers crossed that they can get to .500 come Sunday morning.