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Jopwagon: #16 Marquette 89, DePaul 69

David Joplin ignited from beyond the arc in the second half for a new career high and Tyler Kolek JUST MISSED a triple-double as the Golden Eagles cruised to a win.

Marquette v DePaul Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images

Let’s talk about two things.

One: How did you feel about how the Marquette men’s basketball game was going at halftime, when the Golden Eagles held a narrow 33-32 lead over DePaul?

Two: How did you feel about how the Marquette men’s basketball game was going with 1:54 remaining, which is when they registered their largest lead of the afternoon, 22 points, and led 88-64?

For me, the answers are “relatively confident that they can adjust at halftime and leave Chicago with the win” and “wondering why they don’t build the whole plane out of David Joplin.”

The big reason for the 19 point Marquette margin in the second half as they hung 56 points on DePaul and scored 1.60 points per trip down the floor after halftime? The pride of Brookfield Central, David Joplin. The Jopwagon went for 18 of his game high 28 points in the second half, including a patently ridiculous 6-for-8 from long range.... and he did this in just 11 minutes of playing time.

Let’s fast forward through the first half, stopping briefly to mention that the Golden Eagles led by eight at one point, 24-16, and then went without scoring for five minutes and only MU’s first free throw make on five first half attempts with two seconds left sent Marquette to halftime with a one point lead.

The first points of the second half were an omen of things to come, as Tyler Kolek cashed an offensive rebound by Olivier-Maxence Propser for a long range bomb and a four point Marquette lead. The first five minutes were more back-and-forth action kind of like how the first half had gone. Joplin subbed in at the 15:48 mark, and on MU’s second possession after that, he hit a three.

That triple was the first in a 9-0 personal run for Joplin, elevating the Golden Eagles to a 50-38 advantage. It was an 11-0 run overall, since Oso Ighodaro had scored the most recent bucket in the game. That’s a big tipping point, but DePaul’s Umoja Gibson had a thing or two to say about it. He answered Joplin’s series of threes with a pair of his own, so it was only a six point game. That’s where OMax Prosper comes in, as he hit two three-pointers of his own surrounding a transition layup by Stevie Mitchell, and the second triple for Prosper came with a foul on Da’Sean Nelson. OMax cashed the freebie, and Marquette was up 13, 59-46.

That’s a 20-8 Marquette run.

The refs handed Gibson a four-point play on the other end, inventing contact by Mitchell in transition as Gibson collapsed upon landing after his jumper. In fact, for a while, it seemed like Marquette was on the verge of breaking the game wide open or even wider than it was if you prefer, but Gibson was the one dragging the Blue Demons along within shouting distance.

Joplin hit another three with a little less than nine minutes to play to make the lead 15, and another one with 6:28 to go for another 15 point margin. Things were starting to solidify in Marquette’s direction, and after Javan Johnson threw a pass away, Kolek bombed in a three to make it 76-58, with just 5:43 to go. 70 seconds later, another three by Joplin put the Golden Eagles up 20 for the first time, and things were pretty much over.

We have brushed up against it and in fact mentioned it up at the top, but while David Joplin’s scoring was a big reason why Marquette won this game, we have to tip our cap to Tyler Kolek. Marquette’s junior point guard had himself an amazing day, getting 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting and draining four of his six long range attempts. That’s not the fun part. The fun part is that he also had 10 assists and if not for Stevie Mitchell tapping a DePaul miss to Kolek in the closing minutes, he would have gotten his 10th rebound as well. As it stands, he finished with nine caroms to go with his three steals as well, and so he falls one rebound short of Marquette’s first triple-double since Dwyane Wade ran wild against Kentucky in the 2003 NCAA tournament.

Meanwhile, in the “couldn’t be heard over the sound of those two guys” department, Olivier-Maxence Prosper went for 13 points and eight rebounds, while Oso Ighodaro finished with 10 points, four rebounds, eight assists, two blocks, and a steal. Those are great games! Just happened in the shadow of Joplin and Kolek, that’s all.

It was very important for Marquette to have multiple guys come up big in this one, as the Golden Eagles started the day shorthanded and got even more shorthanded from there. Freshman guard Sean Jones missed this one as he’s been apparently dealing with a wrist issue for a little while now. Sophomore guard Kam Jones took a bonk to his hip in the first half, was never quite right on it through halftime, then only played four minutes in the second half as a result of all of that.

How about some highlights, courtesy of and Fox Sports?

Up Next: Can I interest you in a pair of home games this coming week? With the Golden Eagles currently tied with Xavier atop the Big East standings at 9-2 since the Musketeers lost at Creighton on Saturday, Marquette will first host Villanova on Wednesday night. Tipoff on that one is set for 7:30pm Central on FS1. The 10-10 Wildcats have won two straight as I write this, but they will host Providence on Sunday afternoon before making the trip to Milwaukee.