Marquette Wire

Injuries plague Golden Eagles in loss to Villanova

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Photo by Cassie Rogala/cassandra.rogala@marquette.edu

Photo by Cassie Rogala/cassandra.rogala@marquette.edu

The Marquette Golden Eagles couldn’t get the win against No. 6 Villanova on National Marquette Day, but the team never was fully out of the 87-76 loss.

Marquette (11-15, 3-11) was already at a disadvantage to start the game, as leading scorer Matt Carlino missed his fourth consecutive game with concussion symptoms. Senior Juan Anderson was listed as questionable for the game due to rolling his ankle in practice Thursday and didn’t play a single minute. So the team was left with six scholarship players and walk-ons Michael and Matthew Mache.

For a large amount of the first half, the Golden Eagles stayed with the ranked Wildcats. Freshman Sandy Cohen III hit a 3-pointer to start the game and Marquette shot 5-for-7 in the opening four minutes. But a cold streak following the under-16 media timeout and paired with some timely shooting by Villanova gave the Wildcats a lead they’d never relinquish. The deficit never reached more than six until the final media timeout of the half.

With the first half winding down, having just six active players started to get to Marquette, as the Wildcats ended the half with a nine point lead. But when the teams returned to the court, it was all Villanova.

Villanova’s Ryan Arcidiacono opened up the second half scoring with a 3-pointer, which redshirt freshman Duane Wilson answered with a three of his own. Arcidiacono hit another three, and then JayVaughn Pinkston hit a jumper. After Wilson went 1-for-2 from the charity stripe, Arcidiacono hit another three. The Wildcats started off the half on an 11-3 run, which proved to be too much for the Golden Eagles to conquer down the stretch.

“Starting the second half like that, where they had to come at us a little bit was good for us,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “By the end, we could grind them. We knew they didn’t have many bodies.”

Coach Steve Wojciechowski said Arcidiacono is a major part of the Wildcats’ offense, and he showed it against the Golden Eagles.

“Arcidiacono, he’s a heck of a player,” Wojciechowski said. “He just came in, boom boom, and they scored eight points in 80 seconds. He was a big key to that. But that’s what one of the best point guards in the country does. When a team needs him for a spark, he gives them a spark.”

Each time Villanova tried to pull away though, the Golden Eagles would claw back in. With 13:03 left in the game, Villanova had its largest lead of the game at 17, but the Marquette pulled within 10 by 10:21. At the 5:51 mark, the Wildcats led by 16, but the Golden Eagles were within 10 again with 2:11 left to play. But a nine-point deficit at 1:28 was the closest the team would get.

Wojciechowski said it was good to see his team try to get back into the game and never quit against the Wildcats.

“I thought we fought,” Wojciechowski said. “I thought at different times in the second half where they had a chance to break the game open, our guys fought back.”

One major reason why the Golden Eagles weren’t able to fully get back into the game was foul trouble for its six players. Cohen got three fouls in the first half and ended up fouling out in the game. Sophomores Jajuan Johnson and Luke Fischer, Wilson and junior Steve Taylor, Jr. all ended up with at least four fouls, with Fischer also fouling out. This led to walk-on Michael Mache playing for the final 29 seconds, getting an offensive rebound and one of the loudest cheers of the day.

Wojciechowski praised both Michael’s and Matt’s effort throughout the season has been invaluable, but there wasn’t much of a decision between the two for the game’s final seconds.

“I couldn’t put them both in,” Wojciechowski said.

Due to Marquete’s foul trouble, Villanova was able to get to the line, which was another big factor for the Wildcats to get the win. Villanova made 28 free throws on the day and shot 77.8 percent from the line. It was less fortunate for the Golden Eagles, as they only made 15 baskets and shot 60 percent from the charity stripe.

Even though Wojciechowski said he never likes to lose, he said he and the team is focused on the process.

“Sometimes you have to go through pain and struggle, and if you use it the right way it can make you stronger in the future,” Wojciechowski said.

Marquette is back on the court at No. 19 Butler Wednesday night. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.

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