Matt Heldt, even though he’s started the last two games for Marquette, hasn’t been used that heavily by the Golden Eagles this season. He averaged only 11.4 minutes per game, a modest 1.9 points per game, and 2.4 rebounds. He makes hustle plays, but hasn’t been the biggest producer for the Marquette.
Then, Tuesday night, he goes for a career high 15 and 10 (yes, a double-double no less) in Marquette’s 93-71 win over the St. John’s Red Storm. Basketball is a funny game.
Marquette started quick and never really looked back. Marquette lead 18-16 at 12:47 remaining in the first half, and that was the last time it looked remotely close. Marquette reeled off 12 straight and then kept the lead past double digits the rest of the way, leading 52-37 at half.
Sam Hauser, freshman forward for Marquette, started 4-4 from 3 for Marquette, pushing the tempo to keep up with St. John’s lethal one-two-three guard combo of Marcus LoVett, Shamorie Ponds, and Bashir Ahmed. After a cold stretch of games for him, he kickstarted the Marquette offense and helped them keep pace with a hot St. John’s start, including turning the Golden Eagles over two times in the first two minutes.
However, the vaunted Marquette offense proved too much, and the Red Storm just couldn’t quite keep pace. Every time the Red Storm showed signs of life and signs of going on a run, someone on the Golden Eagles stepped up to make a huge 3 or get an and-one to fall or make a tough layup, get one more stop, and then get a bucket to push the lead back out to 14 or 15.
These stops and answers included some absolutely wacky stuff by JaJuan Johnson, who had sat nailed to the bench in Marquette’s win over Xavier on Saturday. These plays included THIS DUNK.
St. John’s defense, while they couldn’t stop Marquette from getting buckets, did manage to turn the Golden Eagles over 16 times, which had been part of the one-two haymaker St. John’s had thrown at the Garden earlier in the season (the other being a poor shooting night from Marquette). However, Marquette went 12-24 from 3 and 34-60 overall from the floor, and St. John’s couldn’t respond (especially when they go 6-22 from beyond the arc themselves).
Marquette was lead by Hauser with 19 points and eight rebounds. Marquette’s other double digit scorers were Rowsey (18, six assists), Reinhardt (16, five assists), Heldt (15 points, 10 rebounds), and JaJuan Johnson (11 points).
St. John’s got 21 points from Ahmed, 17 points and five assists from LoVett, and 14 points and seven rebounds from Ponds.
Marquette goes to Providence on Saturday, and St. John’s gets Georgetown in the Garden on Saturday.
- OH GOOD GOD THE REF SHOW. There were 46, YES 46, fouls called tonight, including 16 in ten minutes in the second half. Absolutely whistle-happy refs, both ways (24 called on St. John’s, 22 on Marquette).
- Markus Howard had a quiet three points on 1-4 shooting tonight after exploding in the last game, but it turns out he wasn’t needed to carry the load. It’s very good for Marquette that they have so many guys that can get hot and carry the team when it’s necessary.
- I was waiting to watch Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds in person this year, and I was not disappointed. Marcus LoVett has one of the quickest releases on his shot I’ve seen and he can make his shot with a hand in his face. Shamorie has some of the fastest hands and can find the smallest space while driving. I’m so excited to watch them develop in the Big East. St. John’s may be one more year (and another big guy and wing) away from prominence, but they have their backcourt set and it will be absolutely NUTS to watch.