On Tuesday night at the XL Center in Hartford, #21 Connecticut hit their first four three-pointers and took a 22-6 lead over #10 Marquette in the first eight minutes.
Nothing got better for Marquette after that.
I’m typing this with 12:10 left in the second half and Marquette is down 64-44. There’s not really any point in breaking down the recap of this much deeper than that. The Huskies blew past Marquette right out of the gate, and the Golden Eagles never recovered. The closest they got in the first half was 14 points, most of which was right around that 22-6 margin, although a late Chase Ross bucket got it there right before Nahiem Alleye buried a three right before the horn to make it 17 at the break again.
UConn scored the first bucket of the second half, so that 17 point margin is the closest that Marquette has been up to this point… which is now 10:44 to go, and it’s UConn up 66-44. Seems like a “holy crap, look at this comeback win!” would involve being much closer than this at this point.
Marquette’s going to drop to 19-6 overall and 11-3 in the Big East. That will drop the Golden Eagles out of a tie with Xavier for first place in the Big East, and thus assign an awful lot of importance to the home game against the Musketeers next week Wednesday relative to the Big East regular season championship.
The important thing about this result is that Marquette can not, under any circumstances, let the result affect them after the final horn blows. Why? Because next up is a home game against Georgetown. Losing on the road against UConn, a team that’s still top 10 in the computer metrics and has (mostly) only lost to good basketball teams in conference play? Without discussing the score at all, the L itself isn’t that big of a deal. Letting that impact you bad enough that you take a loss against Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Georgetown, even on the road? Can’t have it.
8:32 to go, Stevie Mitchell just hit a free throw to make it a 17 point game.
Under 4 timeout, MU had it down to 16 for a little while there, but it’s 81-63 now.
Final: UConn 87, Marquette 72. Good night, everyone!