Men’s basketball falls to bottom of Big East with loss to Creighton

Photo by Cassie Rogala/[email protected]

The Marquette men’s basketball team could not replicate the same magic against Creighton on the road, falling to the Bluejays 77-70 Saturday afternoon. With the loss, the Golden Eagles (11-14, 3-10) dropped into a tie for last in the Big East standings.

Creighton bested the Golden Eagles on solid shooting throughout the game and made the most of Marquette’s missed chances. The Bluejays shot 54.9 percent from the field, including a 47.1 3-point shooting percentage.

The Bluejays got out ahead of Marquette and dictated the pace early. Marquette scored the first points of the half, but Creighton went on a 7-1 run to establish a lead that it never surrendered. The two sides traded baskets for much of the first half, with Creighton sustaining longer runs than the Golden Eagles. Marquette got within four points near the end of the first half, but Creighton pulled away to close out the first half leading 37-29. The Bluejays shot 55.6 percent from the field in the first half, going an impressive 7-for-11 from behind the arc.

Marquette clawed its way back into the game in the second half, but could not completely dig itself out of the first half hole. Each time it seemed the Golden Eagles were gaining momentum and could swing the game back in their favor, Creighton  hit a timely shot that ignited the crowd and re-engerized the team. Marquette tried to make a push in the final minute of the game, scoring five points in the final 20 seconds. But Creighton hit its free throws, which iced the game for the Bluejays.

Much of Marquette’s late push was facilitated by redshirt freshman Duane Wilson. Wilson scored the final nine points for Marquette, and ended up as the game’s leading scorer. He scored 26 points and went 5-of-9 from 3-point land. Junior Steve Taylor, Jr. and sophomore Luke Fischer were the only other Golden Eagles to score in double digits, scoring 12 and 11 points, respectively. The season’s leading scorer Matt Carlino sat out his third consecutive game with a concussion.

Rick Kerklow may have been Creighton’s leading scorer with 19 points, but Will Artino was the Bluejays’ best overall player. Artino scored 12 points, but also grabbed 14 rebounds, 11 of them on the defensive end. As a team, Creighton outrebounded the Golden Eagles 42-26. Other Bluejays scoring in double digits were Geoffrey Groselle (12) and Devin Brooks (13).

Marquette’s defense could not hold up against the Creighton big men, as the Golden Eagles allowed 40 points in the paint. Creighton forced Marquette’s defense to the outside with its perimeter shooting, and then sliced and diced the defense when it expanded.

The Golden Eagles get a week off before welcoming No. 6 Villanova to the BMO Harris Bradley Center Saturday for National Marquette Day. Tip-off is 1 p.m.