Gassed Golden Eagles hand Butler bye in BIG EAST Tournament

Ellenson scores 29 in regular season finale

Photo by Ben Erickson/[email protected]

With a chance at securing a first-round bye in next week’s BIG EAST Tournament, the Marquette men’s basketball team face planted in the regular season finale at Butler, falling 95-74.

On senior day at Butler, Roosevelt Jones scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half as the Bulldogs jumped out to leads as high as 24. Marquette’s man-to-man defense was discombobulated and the Bulldogs took advantage from long range, shooting 5-for-10 from three-point land. They had four players with eight or more points in the half and led 53-34 at halftime.

Marquette’s offense was unable to spell its defensive woes. The Golden Eagles had only five offensive rebounds, shot just 5-for-17 from long range and committed 15 turnovers in the game. Every player looked deflated as Butler’s lead stretched to 32 with 5:40 remaining.

Henry Ellenson was the lone bright spot in likely his final regular season game in a Marquette uniform. He had 29 points and eight rebounds in 32 minutes, just four days after leaving the Georgetown game with a sprained ankle. Ellenson averaged 30.5 points in the two games against Butler this season. Sandy Cohen was the only other Golden Eagle to score in double figures with 11.

Luke Fischer once again demolished Marquette’s inside-out game plan after he picked up two early fouls and was forced to the bench. He committed his third with about five minutes remaining in the first half. That caused Ellenson to play out of position for much of the game and Cohen and Wally Ellenson to play power forward by committee. Fischer finished with six points, one rebound and three turnovers in 19 minutes.

To take blame from Fischer, the head coach Steve Wojciechowski earned a technical foul midway through the second half after reaching his tipping point due to poor officiating. The Bulldogs went on an ensuing 11-0 run.

The Golden Eagles, who finished the conference slate 8-10 and 19-12 overall, will be the No. 7 seed in the conference tournament and face No. 10 St. John’s Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. CT. The winner will move on to face No. 2 Xavier.