Three Golden Eagles scored in double digits on Sunday afternoon in Rhode Island, but Nate Watson converted an and-1 putback dunk with less than a minute to play and his #17 ranked Providence Friars knocked off YOUR #22 ranked Marquette Golden Eagles, 65-63. Marquette’s seven game winning streak is now in the past as MU drops to 15-7 overall and 7-4 in Big East play.
How much of this game needs to be recapped precisely? With a seven game win streak coming into this road game against a ranked team, this was a house money game for Marquette. If they figured out how to win, they look amazing. If they don’t, especially after already beating Providence once this season, then it’s just the cost of doing business in a league like the Big East and it’s hard to win eight straight games in this conference.
Marquette did lead by as many as eight in the first half, at 19-11 with 7:10 left to go before halftime. When that halftime horn eventually wandered around, it was Marquette holding the lead, 29-23. A six point lead on the road at halftime is pretty good, but unfortunately for the Golden Eagles both at the time and in retrospect, it was really a lead that should have been larger. MU held PC to just 33% shooting from the field in the first half and induced the Friars into 10 turnovers. Marquette was taking good shots.... they just weren’t going down for the Golden Eagles. 41% from the field, 23% from downtown. Not ideal, and that paid off down the line.
Right out of the locker room, Marquette pushed the advantage. With just over 18 minutes to go, Olivier-Maxence Prosper dunked off a feed from Darryl Morsell, and it was 35-26. That nine point advantage was Marquette’s largest of the game so far.... and it would turn out to be their largest of the game when it ended, too. Seven of the next nine points of the game went to the Friars, making it a 37-33 ball game, and Providence just kept coming.
An Ed Croswell layup got the Friars within one possession before Al Durham knotted the whole thing up at 42 with a three-pointer with 11:40 to play. For a stretch there, it looked like Marquette was going to only let the Friars tie the game and that was it. Minute after minute went by, and Providence never actually got out in front.
It was Durham again, this time getting to the rim to make it 55-54 and take the lead for the first time since the first few minutes of the game. Back and forth, the two teams traded buckets and thus traded the lead. Justin Lewis got to the line, shaking off a turnover on MU’s immediately preceding possession, and cashed both to make it 62-61 Golden Eagles.
Providence hurried, not rushed, just hurried to get a shot up quick to give them a shot at going 2-for-1 in the final minute, but Noah Horchler missed his three. That didn’t matter as Nate Watson decided it was time for one of PC’s 14 offensive rebounds in the game. He came up with the ball, went up as strong as he could, and smashed the ball through the rim while picking up a foul on Darryl Morsell. He tacked on the freebie, and it was 64-62.
Lewis got to the line, but could only hit one of two. PC ball, and after a foul, Horchler could only do the same for the Friars. 65-63, 14 seconds to go after Marquette advanced into the halfcourt before calling timeout. It came down to a Tyler Kolek drive, not a bad choice since the Friars seemed to be avoiding helping on Kolek’s drives all night, but he got down to the block and just stopped. Time stopped as well, everywhere but on the game clock, and eventually Kolek realized he had no distribution options and worked himself into a baseline floater. No good. Rebound Lewis, putback Lewis.... and it just bounced away.
That’s that. Close, but no cigar.
Darryl Morsell was outstanding for Marquette in this game, hitting half his shots for 14 points. He also added five rebounds and team highs in assists with five and steals with six! Six steals! Morsell accounted for six of PC’s 13 turnovers all by himself! Lewis finished with 13 points and tied with Kolek for the top spot in rebounding with six, while Kolek was the other guy in double digits with 13 points.
How about some John Fanta called highlights, courtesy of Fox Sports and GoMarquette.com?
Up Next: Marquette gets a chance to host one of the teams they’ve beaten on the road, which sounds pretty neat. The downside is that the team in question is Villanova, and the Wildcats have won three straight since the Golden Eagles won at the Finn. Tipoff on that one is set for Wednesday night at — this is not a joke — 9pm Central time. Get your coffee ready, cuz there’s gonna be a show.