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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

FLOOR SLAPS: Lackluster defense, preventable miscues lead to loss to Butler

Photo by Helen Dudley
Marquette is now 1-7 against Butler in the Steve Wojciechowski era following the 92-72 loss Wednesday night.

Almost 13,000 fans showed up Wednesday night with hopes of Marquette capturing a quality win for the tournament resume. Instead, the few that stuck around for the last 10 minutes witnessed a 92-72 shellacking at the hands of the Butler Bulldogs.

Here are three takeaways from Marquette’s biggest loss at the Bradley Center since 2015:


Post scoring has been an issue all season for Marquette and Wednesday’s loss was no exception.

The Bulldogs had a 44-38 scoring advantage in the paint and rebounded 36.4 percent of their misses. Marquette has now been outscored in the paint in eight of its first 10 BIG EAST contests.

“They’re a really good team,” Wojo said. “They were clicking on all cylinders … They played a big-time game and we did not put up the type of resistance that was needed to compete with them tonight.”

Strong positioning down low from forwards Tyler Wideman and Kelan Martin forced Marquette to settle for lower percentage outside shots. The Golden Eagles finished with as many free throws (19) as made 2-pointers.

“That was the gameplan going in,” Butler sophomoreKamar Baldwin said. “We were going to make them score over us.”



The last time Marquette took on the Bulldogs, the Golden Eagles allowed a career-high 37 points to senior forward Kelan Martin.

Another Butler player had a career night Wednesday: senior forward Tyler Wideman, who picked Marquette’s defense apart for 23 points on 8-for-9 shooting from the field and 7-for-7 shooting from the line.

Wideman was the prime factor in Butler securing an early first half lead. He scored seven of the Bulldogs’ first nine points, preventing Marquette from getting any momentum early on.

“Even when it was 18-18, I don’t think we were playing particularly well,” Wojo said. “(Butler) played an outstanding game.”

When asked about Wideman’s dominance, Wojo had a simple answer: “Well, he made layups.”



When Marquette’s defense was not allowing Butler’s offense to shoot at will, miscues on the other end gave Butler more opportunities to regain momentum.

The Golden Eagles squandered the ball 14 times, resulting in 20 Butler points off those turnovers. Almost 21 percent of Marquette’s first half possessions resulted in turnovers, many of which came on passes with no teammates in the vicinity.

“The flow of our offense was not how it normally is,” Wojo said. “That affected our spirit, and I thought it affected our mentality.”

Marquette held onto the ball slightly better in the second half but still finished with a 19 percent turnover rate.

“Defensively, we had a really good first half,” Butler head coach LaVall Jordan said. “We were pretty sharp for the most part … Our guys just did a really good job of executing and limiting space.”

“We did not handle any facet of the game well,” Wojo said. “That’s always my responsibility, and so I have to do a better job coaching.”



STAT OF THE NIGHT: Senior guard Andrew Rowsey finished a game with no points for the first time since Marquette’s Feb. 7 loss against Butler last year at the BMO Harris Bradley Center


QUOTE OF THE NIGHT: “Tonight we looked like a jayvee team,” – Steve Wojciechowski


UP NEXT: Marquette will host Providence Saturday for National Marquette Day. The Friars are coming off a 73-57 loss to Seton Hall. KenPom, a prominent college basketball analytics site, ranks the Friars 63rd in the country.

“In the BIG EAST, you have to be able to pick yourself off the canvas because we have a great Providence team coming in,” Wojo said. “There are some things we have to learn from this (loss).”

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  • R

    RonFeb 1, 2018 at 11:46 pm

    And Butler did play great game. Somehow you failed to mention that. LOL I don’t think it was all how terrible Marquette was. A classy person would have given the Bulldogs a little credit for the win and for their loss!