The very first possession of Saturday’s Marquette/Notre Dame game was a very good omen for the home team. The Golden Eagles forced the Irish into a shot clock violation right out of the gate for Marquette’s first stop of the game.
It was the first of 10 straight stops to start the game. On the ninth one, MU’s third straight kill to start the game, the walk-ons took the skunk sign, the one that they had been waving around after the sixth straight stop, tossed it on the ground in front of the bench, and stomped their feet on it like they were kicking it unconscious.
Eight of the 10 stops were turnovers.
Three of the eight turnovers were shot clock violations.
Tyler Kolek scored with 13:15 to go in the first quarter, and Marquette led 17-0. The streak to start the game extended past the seven minute mark before Markus Burton missed, got his own rebound, and then scored in the paint to make it 17-2.
Oso Ighodaro hit two free throws — he was a perfect 8-for-8 in this game — to put Marquette up by 20 for the first time, 31-10, with 9:13 left before halftime. It looked like the lead was going to crest at 26 in the first half, but Marquette got a stop with seconds left and Sean Jones threw in a triple for the 52-24 advantage through 20 minutes.
The lead hit 30 for the first time with 18:05 left in the second half off a bucket from Ighodaro. That was MU’s biggest lead of the game, and that means that the Golden Eagles went on a 40-27 run after going up 17-0 to start the game. Marquette never led by less than 20 points for almost the entire second half, right up until the final 22 seconds of the game when Alex Wade threw in two freebies that absolutely had nothing to do with the outcome of this game other than to officially provide the final score: 78-59, #8 Marquette wins by 19, a margin that was important and notable to some of you out there.
Is there anything to actually recap from this game? Nope, not really, Marquette stole Notre Dame’s lungs in the first seven minutes, and they couldn’t even call for help, the end. Would the game have been more or less fun if it took the Golden Eagles all 40 minutes to finally take that 30 point lead before they won? That’s up to you to decide.
Oso Ighodaro led Marquette here with 20 points on a 6-for-8 shooting night that included the big man’s first career three-point attempt. The night wasn’t perfect, as he missed it. Tyler Kolek added 17 points to go with a team high seven assists, but he got beat out for the team crown in rebounds. Chase Ross, thrust into the starting lineup after a hamstring injury to Stevie Mitchell, snagged eight boards to beat Kolek by one. Kam Jones was MU’s third double digit score in his one, chipping in 11 points.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports?
Up Next: Marquette returns to action on Thursday night when they host St. Thomas. Minnesota’s newest Division 1 program is 5-4 on the year after beating Milwaukee back on Wednesday to win their second straight game. Tipoff on that one is set for 7pm Central, and FS1 will have the broadcast.