Golden Eagles avenge home loss with route of DePaul

Cheatham near perfect from the field in 20-point performance

Video by Patrick Thomas

Photo by Brian Georgeson/brian/

It wasn’t pretty, but Marquette redeemed its resume-crushing loss to DePaul earlier this season with a 73-60 win Saturday afternoon.

Freshman guard Haanif Cheatham put in yet another impressive performance, scoring a team-high 20 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including 4-for-6 from behind the arc.

“Today it was really open,” Cheatham said. “All the time I put in, I might as well show it in the game. Once I see them open like that, it gives me a lot of time to think about it. In my mind today, I was just like ‘shoot it, shoot it’ because I was wide open.”

Head coach Steve Wojciechowski said Cheatham’s progression this season can be attributed to his confidence from long range.

“He works like crazy,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s a guy who, early in the season, was getting most of his stuff done going to the basket but to be able to complement that with hitting an open shot is a good thing.”

Cheatham started the game a perfect 4-for-4 from three-point range and led the Golden Eagles with 13 points at half. The team was up 37-26 at the break, due mostly to 12 DePaul turnovers. Freshman point guard Traci Carter forced a handful of those giveaways.

“His ball handling and his ball pressure in the first half resulted in a number of turnovers that led to our baskets,” Wojciechowski said of Carter.

The Golden Eagles came out of the second half on a 6-0 run and made six of their first seven shots.

“We wanted to try to attack the paint and get the ball inside, which we were able to do,” Wojciechowski said. “The way we started the second half was huge and we haven’t always done a great job with that, coming out of halftimes, but today we did.”

The trio of redshirt junior Luke Fischer and freshmen Henry Ellenson and Matt Heldt combined for 32 points and played stout defense at the rim. Fischer poured in 16 points, 10 of which came in the second half.

Ellenson had a modest 14-point, nine-rebound performance. He was matched up against DePaul senior Myke Henry, who gives five inches to the 6-foot-11 Ellenson. Henry, DePaul’s leading scorer at 14.3 points per game, scored only eight in the loss and was held scoreless in the second half.

The Blue Demons were without junior guard Billy Garrett, Jr., who beat the team in the last matchup last month in Milwaukee with an and-one with 1.1 seconds remaining. Garrett, Jr. was wearing a walking boot on the bench, where his 13 points per game were sorely missed.

Marquette faces a daunting back-to-back next week, first against Creighton at the deafening CenturyLink Center Wednesday, then at home against No. 1 Villanova Saturday for National Marquette Day.

Other notes:

  • With a rebound at the end of the first half, Henry Ellenson took sole possession for most boards by a freshman in Marquette history. He passed Bo Ellis, who collected 264 rebounds in his 1973-’74 rookie campaign.
  • The Golden Eagles were just 14-for-22 (63.6 percent) from the free throw line. Ellenson and Carter were a combined 6-for-12 (50 percent).