MubbCap: Golden Eagles Clamp Down Musketeers
Marquette Golden Eagles were in need of a ‘get-right’ game. They lost to St. John’s on Tuesday night and welcomed Xavier to town on Sunday morning. After a 20 point blowout by the Johnnies, the hope was Marquette could bounce back against a young Xavier team still searching for their voice in the Big East Conference. That exactly happened. Marquette showed off their improved defense and remained undefeated at the Fiserv Forum with a 70-52 win. A strong bounceback for Marquette, even if there are some things still needed to be worked on in the coming weeks.
Player of the Game: Sacar Anim – What a game from Sacar! This is an encouraging sign to see as the junior had his best game of the season. Anim scored 20 points which is a season-high, and the second time in his career where he scored over 20. Marquette looked sluggish early on, but Anim did not. He came out with some firepower in this game and helped lift Marquette early on in this game. They needed it with the slow starts of Markus Howard and Sam Hauser.
Silver Star: Markus Howard – At the end of the first half, I mentioned that someone or something needed to heat Markus Howard up. Apparently, all he needed was my tweet. Howard finished the game with 26 points finding his range from deep in the second half. Howard had an aggressive six-for-15 stat line from deep, but he helped Marquette push out their lead in the second half. Howard was two assists away from a double-double as well.
Thing I liked: The defense came to play – Holy shit, Marquette has a defense. I know the haters will say they haven’t done yet against a good team which is fine, but this means they should have no excuses against the bad ones. I cannot tell you how many times Marquette found themselves in a dog fight over the last few years because they couldn’t lock up on defense. They did a great job limiting Xavier looks at the basket, drawing contact and forcing tough threes. Very interested to see if this continues for Marquette.
Thing I didn’t like: What’s wrong with Sam Hauser – We need to fix Sam Hauser. He struggled again from the field going two-for-eight with six missed threes. Hauser did not have the game he could have had on Sunday. Xavier gave him so many open looks, and everything fell short. Maybe, he had some rust on his tires and just didn’t have it today but it’s been like that for a few games now. Hopefully, Hauser can get something going in their next game and start scoring again. It’s needed for Marquette to be successful.
Next up: Marquette heads to Creighton where the Jays will be looking for a victory after Butler wasted them on Saturday. It will be the first home Big East game for the Jays. Even though it’s a tough place to play, Marquette seems to love this gym. They had the amazing comeback last year led by Anim’s career-high 26 points. The year prior they won by scoring 100+, so, it’s been a more kind Big East spot to the boys than others. Their improved defense will be tested with Creighton, and it’s imperative that Theo John stays out of foul trouble.