The stage was set for a big game. A white out for the Wisconsin Badgers at home and black uniforms for the Marquette Golden Eagles. Both teams fighting to sneak into the top 25. A back and forth first half featured a hot Markus Howard, but a lackluster second half performance kept Marquette out leading to a Wisconsin blowout.
Marquette started slow again, trailing 9-3 early. Markus Howard, 16 in the first half, would catch fire and lead Marquette back to grab an 18-16 lead with 8:24 left in the half. The Golden Eagles’ turnovers would kill them. With 9 in the first half, Wisconsin pushed the ball and took advantage, earning many open shots. While neither team shot particularly well, Wisconsin would hold the halftime advantage 34-29.
The second half was no fun to watch. The offense just could never find a rhythm. The consistently easy penetration by Wisconsin gave them easy, open shots throughout. Howard tried to will the offense, but finished 0-9 in the half. Wisconsin played strong and hit shots, winning 77-61.
Even with Kony McEwen (19 points to lead all scorers) stepping up and playing well again, the offense is still very dependent on the best player. Howard won’t have many bad games, but Wojo will need to find a better way to get the offense going when Howard can’t.
Sacar Anim and Brendan Bailey have started each game this season, but they may not start many others. Jamal Cain and Greg Elliott were clearly the better players. This wasn’t very hard as Anim and Bailey were brutal, missing many opportunities to have a positive impact on the game. Cain and Elliott were confident, playing strong defense and knocking down big shots.
Turnovers still appear to be a problem for Marquette. With 9 turnovers in the first half and 15 in the game, the turnovers heavily contributed to Marquette never finding a rhythm. With 6 of the 9 turnovers in the first half being travels, Marquette’s turnover troubles seem solvable. Limiting turnovers will be important to Marquette’s evolution this season.
Marquette faces Robert Morris at home next Saturday before heading to the Orlando Invitational where they’ll play Davidson in their opening game on Thursday November 28th.