MubbCap: Golden Eagles Show Grit in Overtime Win
Marquette Golden Eagles seemed like they were headed for the worst case scenario to start their season. An 0-3 November against the upper echelon teams they would play in the month meaning they would have to makeup a ton of ground in December. Louisville had Marquette’s number all game long and the Golden Eagles could not crack through against Louisville. Marquette kept battling though and did just enough to force overtime. Marquette prevailed in the overtime session with an impressive 77-74 victory. Golden Eagles are now 4-2 on the season and earned their best win of the season.
Player of the Game: Sam Hauser – You’ll see Markus Howard featured in a second, but if not for Sam Hauser, Marquette does not force overtime. In fact, the Golden Eagles might have been beat by seven to 10 points. Hauser was the only offense for Marquette in the beginning stages of the game. He finished with 22 points on seven of 13 shooting with four made threes. Hauser added seven rebounds as well. He is the glue of this team. Personally, I believe him to be the best player on the court amid what experts might tell you.
Silver Star: Markus Howard – What Hauser did in the first half, Howard did in the second half. He had a great second and overtime period for Marquette. Howard finished with 21 points and only two made threes. That might have been most encouraging thing about Howard’s night. He scored his buckets without the reliance of the three-point shot. Chris Mack’s game plan worked around packing the three-point line and making Marquette beat them in other ways. Howard did a great job of that on Friday.
Positive: Earning it at the line – When Marquette is good, they’re shooting 15 to 25 free throws. To me, that’s one of the best parts of their game. It sounds crazy, but Howard, both Hauser brothers are dynamite free throw shooters. As ESPN’s Jay Bilas (Side note: Does anyone think Bilas has gotten too cool for his role? He acts on the broadcast like he’s the smartest man in the arena, super annoying) noted, it’s like an intentional walk for Marquette as they have many automatic free throw shooters. This won the Golden Eagles the game.
Negative: Spreading the love – Marquette had a bit of an issue on offense again on Friday. Theo John shooting the ball 13 times should not happen with this team. John is a good player, but the Golden Eagles are not a post-first team by any means. Joey Hauser, Sacar Amin, Jamal Cain and others need to be more involved with the offense. The lack of production from wings without the last name Hauser is concerning.
How should Marquette fans feel – better or worse about their team? – Usually, these tournaments tell us a lot about what the season can hold for a team. For Marquette, the feelings should be the same. 1-1 is fine with a loss to Kansas who could end up being the best team in the country. But there are still so many unknowns about this squad. They look better defensively than they have in years, but their offense moves like molasses. Let’s have this conversation in a few weeks.
Next up: Marquette takes on Charleston Southern at home on Tuesday night. Charleston Southern is 4-2 on the year, and they were blown out by 30 points by Florida earlier this season. Marquette should have no issues with the Buccaneers as they do not figure to be a contender in the Big South.