The Marquette Golden Eagles got off to a fast start on Tuesday. Thanks to two 15-point efforts from Sam Hauser and Markus Howard, the Golden Eagles prevailed over the UMBC Retrievers, 67-42. Defense was surprisingly the name of the game, and they’ll hope to keep that momentum going on Saturday.
On Saturday afternoon, will take on the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats. Bethune-Cookman has already gotten a taste of the Big East this season, having played the DePaul Blue Demons. The Wildcats were unsuccessful in their quest to upend DePaul, as the Blue Demons trounced them 80-58.
MU will hope for similar success against a squad that’s hoping to win the MEAC this season. They’ll need a lot more production out of seniors Soufiyane Diakite and Shawntrez Davis, two Preseason All-MEAC First Team selections.
Diakite scored just two points in the loss to DePaul and Davis picked up just five. Diakite and Davis shot the not so well well, going a combined 3-for-8 from the field. Their usage rate wasn’t even particularly high, as Davis’ was 17.5 percent and Diakite’s was 15.2. It will be intriguing to see if the gameplan changes and if those two get the ball in their hands against MU.
It was Isaiah Bailey, an All-MEAC Second Team selection, who led the way with 12 points in DePaul’s loss. Malik Maitland, another senior, had 11 points, as well, and junior Cletrell Pope had 11 off the bench. Maitland and Bailey had very high usage rates, so we might expect them to have the ball in their hands early and often if that trend continues.
As we mentioned, Marquette won primarily with defense. It wasn’t as though they were bad, so to speak. They played efficiently, with an Adjusted Offensive Efficiency mark of 112.2. But their 3-point percentage vs. UMBC was just 25 percent.
Read: 25 percent.
They only made a quarter of their shots, and it wasn’t like they didn’t take many. 53.3 percent of their field goals vs. UMBC were 3-pointers, so for whatever reason, the shots just weren’t falling. Their eFG% suffered as a rate, standing at just 46.7 percent. But they did just about everything else right, which is probably why they prevailed.
Fans obviously wouldn’t be too disappointed if they’re going to start winning with defense, but obviously that potent, prodigious offense is what makes this team so good and so lethal. We’ll see if they can get acclimated in their new digs on Saturday afternoon, or if they’ll suddenly start missing the BMOHBC rims.