The Marquette Golden Eagles were on the wrong side of history on Thursday.
The Golden Eagles were beaten down by the Murray State Racers in their Round of 64 matchup in the NCAA Tournament by the score of 83-64.
In particular, Ja Morant, the gifted point guard for the Racers who’ll be making lots of money very soon, recorded the first triple-double in the NCAA Tournament since a fella by the name of Draymond Green put one up in 2012. He sliced and diced the Golden Eagles for 17 points, 16 assists and 11 rebounds en route to a blowout victory for his Racers.
The Golden Eagles got off to a hot start and built up a 20-10 lead by the 12:53 mark. Marquette closed in and made it 20-20, and the teams traded blows for a little while afterwards. Murray State, though, would inch further and further away and built up a seven point lead at the half.
From there, Marquette would have little resistance. The Racers got off to a rip-roaring start, leading by 14 by the 18:09 mark before a 3-pointer from Markus Howard ended their run. But MU just simply couldn’t close the gap. The deficits kept mounting and the pressure kept supplanting on them, and the Racers wrapped up our annual 5-12 “upset” in the process.
There was simply nothing MU could do to stop Morant and his teammates from cutting them up. Three other Racers got into double figures, as Tevin Brown, Shaq Buchanan and KJ Williams all put up double digit efforts. Brown led with 19 points, while Morant of course scored 17. Buchanan chipped in 14, while Williams followed up with 16. Ja certainly had lots of attention (and deservingly so) but his teammates definitely helped the cause.
Howard led the charge with 26 points, but went an inefficient 9-for-27 from the floor. Sam Hauser was the only other Golden Eagle to get into double figures, as Hauser had 16 points on 17 shots. Brendan Bailey and Joey Hauser each had eight points, and Ed MOrrow had six. Every other MU player to see the floor failed to record a single point.
Given where Marquette was at one point this season, this was an extremely bitter pill to swallow. Coupled with the four-game losing streak to end the season, the exit in the semifinals of the Big East Tournament (in controversial fashion) and this blowout loss, the good vibes in Milwaukee are surely gone. Now, we’ll see how awhat should be a very long offseason will go for Wojo & Co., as things did not break down the way many expected them to.