Last time Marquette and DePaul faced off, Billy Garrett's three-point play at the buzzer led the Blue Demons to their first BIG EAST win of the season.
With the memory fresh in their minds, it must have been a bit of a relief for Steve Wojciechowski and Marquette when DePaul announced shortly before the game that Garrett, along with Peter Ryckbosch, would be out due to various injuries.
As such, Marquette took advantage of their undermanned opponent, picking up a 73-60 victory in Rosemont.
Haanif Cheatham led the way for the Golden Eagles. The freshman guard had 20 points on 5-7 shooting.
For the Blue Demons, Tommy Hamilton had 20 points.
Marquette improves to 17-10, 6-8, and will head to Omaha to face Creighton on Wednesday night.
DePaul, meanwhile, falls to 8-18, 2-12, and they'll host St. John's on Thursday night.
Here are three things we learned from this game.
DePaul needs Billy Garrett
Thank you, Captain Obvious!
Everyone knew that the Blue Demons would have a tough time generating offense today without their star point guard, but they looked even more out of sorts than expected.
Garrett is DePaul's second leading scorer at 13.0 PPG, and their leading assist man at 3.6 per game. It's also worth noting he's been on the court for nearly 70% of DePaul's minutes this season. Without his presence on the court, the Blue Demons struggled.
The Blue Demons have to hope that Garrett's lower leg injury, which occurred Wednesday night against St. John's, is better before the Red Storm come to Rosemont on Thursday night. Per the school, Garrett is "day-to-day".
Cheatham continues to shine
While Henry Ellenson has gotten most of the publicity from the Marquette freshman class, Haanif Cheatham continues to fly under the radar.
Cheatham recorded double-digit scoring for the 17th time this season, and the 10th time in 14 BIG EAST games. He came into Saturday 22nd in the BIG EAST in scoring at 11.3 PPG, a number that will rise following his 20 point performance. He also had five rebounds, three assists, and three steals.
While Henry Ellenson will likely depart for greener pastures next season, the Golden Eagles should be just fine if Cheatham continues down this path.
Turnovers can be delicious. Apple, cherry, peach, blueberry, etc. There's a great bakery right down the street from the Rosemont Horizon where you can get any number of varieties of turnovers.
However, when you're on the basketball court, turnovers are very suboptimal.
Marquette and DePaul are the two worst teams in the BIG EAST at protecting the ball. Marquette's TO% of 20.6% is bottom-50 in the nation, while DePaul's TO% of 21.6 is bottom-20 in the country.
It's no surprise that Saturday's game featured a litany of turnovers. Marquette had 14 while DePaul had 16
The difference? Marquette was able to turn DePaul's turnovers into 17 points, while DePaul generated just 14 points off Marquette's turnovers.
Obviously, the margin of victory was larger than three points, but the Blue Demons would have had a much better chance had they been able to turn Marquette's turnovers into points.