If you were making a list of things that you liked about Marquette men’s basketball’s visit to Purdue on Tuesday night, you’d need a pretty big piece of paper to write it all down. Fantastic start, quality response to the Boilermaker response to said start, great rebounding, an amazing David Joplin performance in the second half, and that’s just the immediately obvious things.
Finishing out the game? Yeah, that wasn’t good at all.
Marquette coughed up a 12-0 run over a nearly five minute stretch that lasted until there was less than a minute left, and that’s how Purdue took a three point deficit and turned it into a nine point lead with 47 seconds to play. There were hijinks and tomfoolery in the final 30 seconds, and that’s how we got to the final score of 75-70 as well as Marquette’s first loss of the 2022-23 season.
Things could not have started better for Marquette, as Kam Jones hit a three 19 seconds in, and then Jones stole the ball from Purdue as they brought it up the court for their first possession and drove to the rim and drew two freebies, which he made. After an Ethan Morton missed three on the Boilermakers’ first shot of the game, Marquette got a putback from Olivier-Maxence Prosper for a 7-0 lead in less than 90 seconds. By the time we got to the Under 16 media timeout, Marquette was up 13-7, and if I’m not mistaken, I don’t think Purdue center Zach Edey had even touched the ball on either end.
The torrid pace was, obviously, not going to continue and most definitely was not going to continue in what is probably the most oppressive road environment in the Big Ten and maybe the entire country. Purdue picked themselves up and the Mackey Arena crowd was more than happy to cheer them on, and a dunk by Edey made it 14-13 Boilermakers. From there we had a hell of a 20 minutes of hoops. Marquette went up 5, Purdue ran them down and took a two point lead. MU built a five point lead back up, Brandon Newman cashed a three to make it 29-28 for the home team. Fletcher Loyer cashed a three with just under a minute to go before the half, but Jones immediately answered for Marquette on the other end, and it was 34-32 at the intermission.
Marquette had done a terrific job limiting the impact of Edey in the first half, and it certainly looked like Purdue head coach Matt Painter challenged the 7’4” Canadian to alter the game in the locker room between halves. He scored the Boilermakers’ first eight points of the second half, with the last one coming as a second chance dunk that put Purdue up 40-38. That was followed up by a three from Braden Smith that made it a five point game, and Shaka Smart made a major move: He called timeout and subbed in David Joplin.
Over the next slightly more than five minutes, Joplin scored 16 of Marquette’s 18 points to go up 56-47 with 10:55 to go. Nothing lasts forever, but boy howdy, is it definitely a good thing to have a nine point lead on the road.
That lead was gone less than seven minutes later. For everything that was going absolutely wonderfully well for the Golden Eagles, it all just stopped, and then it got worse. Tyler Kolek got a bucket to go with 5:46 to play.... and that would be MU’s last points — not basket, points at all — until there was less than 30 seconds left. With 47 seconds left, Edey drained a hook in the paint to put Purdue up 71-62. That is a 24-6 run for the Boilermakers across roughly 10 minutes of basketball, and quite honestly, that’s unforgivable, particularly for a team that’s trying to derive its identity from getting stops.
The final 30 seconds did get weird, by the way. Kam Jones popped a three, Loyer split some free throws, Joplin buried a three. Four point game, 13 seconds left. Braden Smith split some free throws.... and Brian Waddell fouled Joplin shooting a three with eight seconds left and Purdue up five. The sophomore from Milwaukee hit the first and the third to make it a three point game and somehow, even as stupid as that 24-6 run, there was a very tiny fraction of a way for Marquette to at least force overtime.
They had to foul though, and Morton made both of his freebies here to ice the game.
David Joplin’s 21 points off the bench on 7-for-11 shooting and 5-for-7 from long range, all in the second half, goes as the best scoring performance from any player, although Zach Edey and Braden Smith each had 20 for the home team. Kam Jones had 19, largely due to a very nice 5-for-12 outing from long range, and Oso Ighodaro manufactured 10 points on 5-for-13 shooting. Joplin’s nine rebounds led the way for Marquette, while Tyler Kolek had 11 assists to go with eight points, six rebounds, and a steal.
Up Next: Marquette will return to Milwaukee for one home game before they head back out on the road. They’ll be at Fiserv Forum for a Thursday night contest against LIU with tipoff on FS2 scheduled for 7:30pm Central time. The Sharks are 1-1 on the year, although just 0-1 against Division 1 competition after a season opening 89-48 loss to Utah.