Perhaps the biting cold sweeping the Midwest got into the bones of some of the ballers from Butler and Marquette. Both teams started slow, and were it not for Markus Howard, the first half would have been one of the ugliest offensive halves in the NCAA this year. The halftime score was just 34-25 with Marquette leading, and Howard had 19 points. In the second half, the offense picked up some, but mostly for Marquette. Butler never really challenged and the Golden Eagles prevailed 76-58.
Marquette has struggled historically against Butler, and especially at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Howard was the scoring leader, with 32 points and Sam Hauser and Sacar Anim combined for 33. The rest of the Golden Eagles scored made just four field goals, but it didn’t matter as Butler put up just 58 points.
The Bulldogs’ offense was abysmal. Marquette did play solid defense, and Theo John was a strong presence inside, but this is hardly the first night Butler has struggled to score the ball. At this point in the season, it appears that Butler’s offensive woes will prevent them from securing a fourth straight NCAA Tournament bid.
Marquette now sits at 8-1 in the conference, second only to Villanova. The Golden Eagles have a real opportunity to challenge the Wildcats for the BIG EAST title.
Marquette next plays St. John’s on Tuesday, February 5 @ 8:00 p.m. ET.
Butler next plays Seton Hall on Saturday, February 2 @ 12:00 p.m. ET.
Butler and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Offense
Butler’s offense is painful to watch. The Bulldogs actually have a number of good shooters, but the dribble penetration and passing have not allowed them to take advantage of their three-point prowess.
Marquette making it look easy
Games like this really show how good a team is. Marquette didn’t have everything clicking and actually had a poor first half outside of Howard. The Golden Eagles also dealt with foul trouble to Howard and both Hausers. Nevertheless, it was not only a victory, but a blowout on the road in BIG EAST play. Impressive.