The last time that the Marquette Golden Eagles and the Wichita State Shockers played a game of hoops, it was 1978. During this time a gallon of gas was 63 cents a gallon, the average home cost was $13,500 and most importantly, there was no 3-point line in either the college or the pro levels.
I would love to write that the two teams used this dynamic game changing rule to the height of it potential; but, I watched the game.
The recipe to beat Marquette is to limit their 3-point shooting. To do this it is important to stop three guys:
The Shockers only needed to do 2 of 3 to find success against the Golden Eagles.
Wichita St. 41 - Marquette 36
After a terrific performance against VCU, Sam Hauser was quickly subdued in the first 3 minutes when he was called for quick two fouls. Then in an interesting move by Steve Wojciechowski, checked in at the 12:12 mark in the first half and picked up his third foul in nine seconds.
Andrew Rowsey had eight points but shot 3-10 FG that includes a shooting performance of 1-7 from beyond the arc.
The first half was highlighted by a tremendous performance from Markus Howard who poured in 17 points (6-8, 2-4 3pt) before having to take a seat after his 2nd personal foul at the 6 minute mark. $%!*.
Howard was the lone offensive spark for this team and made some incredible shots that kept his the Shockers largest lead to 8 points.
Along with these performaces Wichita St. held the rest of the team to 3-9 shooting.
Marquette also was able to defend three point land in the first half holding the well balanced attack of the Shockers to 3-11 for 27 percent. The damage came from the inside where a team effort muscled the Golden Eagles to a tune of 22 points an inside the paint shooting percentage of 54 percent. Wichita St. also had nine different players record a basket and rang up 13 bench points to the five of Marquette.
Wichita St. 80 - Marquette 66
Rowsey showed up in a big way in the second half. He scored 19 of his 26 points and put towards a good effort to keep his Golden Eagles close on the scoreboard; however, it was not enough for the well balanced attack of the Shockers.
The rest of Marquette shot a Ray Charles-esque performance of 4/21 or 19% from the field.
Coach Gregg Marshall’s team continuously but the ball in the basket and had fantastic individual performances. Landry Shamet led the team in points with 19 and Rashard Kelly had an impressive 10 rebounds and 8 assists to go along with his 6 points. The Shockers also showed their depth with a bench performance of 28 points led by Austin Reaves 10 points and 9 rebounds.
Putting Hauser back in the game with two fouls during the first half was a decision that I’m sure Steve Wojciechowski will receive some backlash on from the Golden Eagle faithful. It was only a three-point game and was head scratching to say the least.
It is hard to put any criticism on Howard or Rousey, who were the only legitimate scoring options in the game. An almost nothing performance out of Hauser (3 pts) and a lack of any coherent role players was a glaring issue that could resurface against top-level teams as the year progresses.
I don’t expect Marquette to shoot 9-33 or 27 percent from behind the arc every game. They are too talented for that. Teams have off days shooting and the shots that were being taken were good looks but the ball just wouldn’t go down the cylinder.
Marquette has the ability to make some noise in the up coming Big East Conference season with their strong scoring guards. However, it is still a mystery if that will be enough to be in the big dance come March.