Marquette Wire

Men’s basketball can’t sustain ascent against Providence

Katin+Reinhardt+wasn%27t+able+to+get+a+basket+on+either+of+his+chances+in+the+final+minute+against+Providence.
Katin Reinhardt wasn't able to get a basket on either of his chances in the final minute against Providence.

Katin Reinhardt wasn't able to get a basket on either of his chances in the final minute against Providence.

Photo by Austin Anderson

Photo by Austin Anderson

Katin Reinhardt wasn't able to get a basket on either of his chances in the final minute against Providence.

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Call it a Villanova hangover if you’d like, an unfortunate day from the field or just Marquette matching up against a hot player in the second half. No matter what you call it, Marquette’s resume took a big hit with a 79-78 loss to Providence Saturday.

“You know what, I’m not worried about the tournament right now,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “That’s all well and good for fans and all that kind of stuff. It’s a distraction for the guys inside our group. You’ve got to take care of every day. We didn’t do that, because if we did, we would have followed our defensive game plan better. So, if you’re not thinking about that, what are you thinking about? All these things that people are telling you.”

Wojciechowski called his defense the story of the game, questioning why his team went away from what they talked about all week in practice. The Friars shot 50 percent from the field and 55 percent from 3-point range, and the Golden Eagles weren’t able to force shooters Jalen Lindsey and Ryan Fazekas away from stand-up shots despite that being a focus in scouting.

Wojciechowski pointed to the upset against No. 1 Villanova getting into players’ heads.

“For our guys, that’s hard because that’s all anyone wants to talk about,” Wojciechowski said. “Even today, walking in here, there are great people but they only want to talk about Tuesday. For our guys who haven’t tasted a great deal of success big picture wise, it’s very easy to want to stay in that moment. It’s not a very smart thing to stay in that moment.”

Marquette clawed back into the game with 36 seconds remaining thanks to a circus shot from Andrew Rowsey. The guard caught Providence with a pump fake down 78-72, a move he used quite frequently in the game, to draw a foul on a 3-point shot. He threw up a prayer with his off hand, and it miraculously landed perfectly in the net. He made the free throw to complete the four-point play and cut the deficit to two.

“He almost bailed us out,” Wojciechowski said. “You hope you don’t have to rely on four-point plays to save you.”

Marquette played the foul game, forcing a Providence team that has shot below 70 percent from the free-throw line in two of the last three games to the charity stripe.

The move worked out. Alpha Diallo missed one of two, and Haanif Cheatham responded with a quick two. Marquette fouled again, this time Rodney Bullock, and he missed both shots.

After the game seemed all but done, the Golden Eagles had a final chance to earn a victory with 13 seconds remaining. Wojciechowski turned to Katin Reinhardt, the hero from the Villanova game.

Wojciechowski hoped the play would force a Providence big onto one of Marquette’s guards, but Reinhardt saw an opening and drove the lane. That shot was blocked by Bullock, giving Marquette another opportunity with six seconds remaining.

On the second opportunity, Wojciechowski tried to get Reinhardt running off a staggered screen against a big to drive the ball. Reinhardt wasn’t able to get an edge, which forced him into a jump shot. The shot was no good, ending Marquette’s comeback effort.

Marquette struggled shooting in the first half, shooting 39 percent from the field and 35 percent from 3-point range. The Golden Eagles dug themselves into a 40-32 hole at the break.

Once Marquette woke up in the second half, so did Providence’s Kyron Cartwright. He scored all 18 of his points in the second half, shooting 7-for-10 and 2-for-3 from three. He was particularly effective in finding open space through screens.

“I think Coach’s play calling put me in a great situation,” Cartwright said. “I think my teammates really set me up. … They set a lot of hard screens.”

The game is the Friars’ first win in Milwaukee in the all-time series.

The Golden Eagles are back in action Wednesday when they head to St. John’s for the first game of a two-game road trip.

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