Fischer, Reinhardt lead Marquette to win at No. 7 Creighton

Video by Connor Basch


Photo by Marquette Athletics

Luke Fischer goes for a basket during Marquette’s 102-94 victory against Creighton.

OMAHA, NEBRASKA – After Marquette blew an 18-point second half lead at No. 13 Butler Monday, there was heavy criticism of Luke Fischer.

“Luke’s really struggled and we need him to be good,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said of the senior. “It’s not a matter of scoring. It’s a matter of playing defense and rebounding. It’s a mystery.”

Fischer was extremely critical of his own performance as well.

“It’s frustrating, but I’ve got to get it out of my head,” Fischer said. “Once the defense comes along, the offense will come along with it.”

Whatever wasn’t working for senior center on Monday was fixed by Saturday. The Germantown, Wisconsin, native went off for 18 points on just nine shots to go with seven rebounds, three assists and a career-high six blocks to lead Marquette to a 102-94 road win against No. 7 Creighton.

“It feels great,” Fischer said. “The past couple games have been really frustrating, but I put in the extra work this week. I put my trust in my teammates. I told them that I had their back and that they can count on me from here on out. And it’s amazing what happens when you put yourself totally into winning and totally into your team.”

What changed for Fischer?

“I was just more aggressive,” Fischer said. “I was just out there playing. The past couple games I’ve just been thinking too much about it. Today it was just go out there, play as hard as you can and good things will happen.”

Fischer’s game was summed up well by back-to-back possessions just before the 10-minute mark of the first half. The game was tied at 22. Creighton bigman Martin Krampelj went up for a layup and Fischer blocked him. Ronnie Harrell Jr. grabbed the rebound and went right back up with it, only to get the same treatment, a Fischer block. Krampelj got the ball back and went up for a tough layup as Fischer gave him little room to breathe and missed the shot. Jajuan Johnson grabbed the defensive rebound, ran the floor and got to the hoop, but missed the layup. But Fischer was there to save the day, grabbing the offensive board and laying it in to give Marquette a lead they would not relinquish.

“It starts on the defensive end,” Fischer said. “When you’re playing hard and good on defense, offense is going to come much easier.”

When the offense came, it brought all kinds of problems for Creighton. Freshman phenom Justin Patton was in foul trouble all day due to Fischer’s menacing day in the post. Patton played just 19 minutes.

“That was part of our game plan,” Fischer said. “We know he likes to jump at shots. We used ball fakes, we got him into early foul trouble and we were able to exploit their defense from there.”

“Luke was a rock for us on both ends of the floor,” Wojciechowski said. “A terrific presence around the basket offensively and defensively.”

It was Fischer’s night, but he wasn’t the only senior Golden Eagle who had an outing to remember. Katin Reinhardt put up 21 points on 13 shots and registered a team-high seven assists.

“Katin did a great job as a ball handler,” Wojciechowski said. “(He) made really good decisions for our team.”

Johnson finished with 18, including a key 8-0 run all by himself in the second half to double Marquette’s lead.

“They (the seniors) were terrific,” Wojciechowski said. “Not just with the way they scored, it’s the way they played. I thought they had a tremendous presence on the floor.”

In the second half Creighton head coach Greg McDermott threw a number of different defensive looks at Marquette in an effort to stop the bleeding, but the Golden Eagles responded with confidence.

“We were very poised, we were patient,” Reinhardt said. “We didn’t speed ourselves up every time they got into a different defense, whoever was handling the ball at that time, we were listening to Coach. … We just didn’t stress out. We really took our time and were patient. I thought that was a big step in the right direction for us.”

The Bluejays made a late push, but never got the score within eight points late.

“We played a complete game and we were able to get over the hump with a road win,” Wojciechowski said.

With a signature win for their tournament resume, Marquette 13-6 (4-3) heads home with confidence to host No. 1 Villanova Tuesday night at the Bradley Center.