You can’t say they didn’t fight to their last moment.
The 2023 Maui Invitational Championship game did not work out the way that the first two games worked out for Marquette men’s basketball, as the #4 Golden Eagles took a 78-75 loss to #2 ranked Purdue on Wednesday afternoon. It’s the first loss of the year for Marquette as they fall to 5-1, while Purdue advances to 6-0 on the year.
The game had a few inflection points. The first came when Oso Ighodaro picked up his second personal foul with 14:37 left in the first half while tracking alongside a Purdue player 35 feet from the basket and getting further away and then clonking the guy in the head in the process. It was, in a word, not good.
Marquette was leading 12-9 at that point. Ben Gold picked up his second foul of the game with 9:03 left in the first half, and the free throw as a result of Gold’s foul made it Purdue by three, 23-20. It was part of a 10-0 run by the Boilermakers that put them up nine, and their first half lead would eventually max out at 12, generated by the absolute prayer of a throw by Lance Jones at the horn as the two sides went to the locker room for halftime.
You can see how multiple first half fouls on the two tallest guys on the team while facing a team with 7’4” Zach Edey was going to be a problem.
Purdue would lead by as many as 15 early in the second half, and this would be the fourth or so inflection point. Marquette rallied from a big hole against UCLA on Monday night, but asking them to do it a second time in less than 48 hours was probably going to be too much.
Still, a layup from Ighodaro with 16:27 to go cut the margin into single digits, 55-47. A layup by Kam Jones with 11:30 to go sliced things down to a five point Purdue lead. Ben Gold dunked in transition, three point game, 10:37 to play.
The Boilermakers woke up and pushed back. A three from Lance Jones put them up 10 with 6:07 to go, yet another inflection point. Things just slowly tilting away from Marquette.
David Joplin’s first bucket of the game was a three-pointer in transition, five point game.
Ighodaro dunked, three point game, 2:54 to go. Clearly anyone’s ball game. Somehow. After all of those things that went against the Golden Eagles for the first 37 minutes. Ighodaro again, 54 seconds left. Get a stop, which would have been a third straight stop and thus a kill, then win the game on the other end. Seems so simple.
Simple doesn’t come easy when Zach Edey’s on the other team, and while Braden Smith’s three-point attempt with 22 seconds to go missed, the Golden Eagles couldn’t contain the kaiju wearing a Purdue jersey, and Edey put it up and in. Boilermakers by three, 16 seconds to go.
Kolek missed a three-pointer to tie it, kind of badly, Joplin did a foul to have a chance.... and Mason Gillis missed the front end. Edey was still on the floor for Purdue, so of course he came up with the rebound and of course he was fouled.
Edey missed the front end.
Rebound Marquette. Kam Jones with a prayer at the horn, is there any poetic symmetry in this world?
How they got there was kind of bad and definitely frustrating to watch, but at no point did Marquette seem afraid of the moment or worried about the situation they were in. They just kept going at Purdue, ready and willing to give the Boilermakers all the trouble they could handle for 40 straight minutes.
Marquette alternated between frustrating the bejeezus out of Zach Edey and not being able to do a damn thing to stop him. Purdue’s center finished with 28 points and 15 rebounds, but a game high five turnovers. On MU’s end, Tyler Kolek led with 22 points and also added seven rebounds and six assists. Kam Jones (17) and Oso Ighodaro (16) joined Kolek in double digit town.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and ESPN?
Up Next: What with the timing of the trip to Hawaii and Thanksgiving, Marquette won’t be back in action until next week Tuesday when they return to the slightly chillier climate of Milwaukee. Southern will come to Fiserv Forum for a 8pm tipoff, and FS1 will have the broadcast. The Jaguars are currently 1-4 on the season after losing at Illinois by 28 on Sunday, and they’ll visit Valparaiso on Saturday before making their way northwest to Wisconsin.