Marquette Wire

Howard’s late turnover spoils National Marquette Day comeback, losing skid reaches four

Marquette+lost+its+fourth+consecutive+game+Saturday+afternoon%2C+splitting+the+season+series+against+the+Providence+Friars.+Sophomore+guard+Markus+Howard+was+limited+to+just+one+3-pointer.
Marquette lost its fourth consecutive game Saturday afternoon, splitting the season series against the Providence Friars. Sophomore guard Markus Howard was limited to just one 3-pointer.

Marquette lost its fourth consecutive game Saturday afternoon, splitting the season series against the Providence Friars. Sophomore guard Markus Howard was limited to just one 3-pointer.

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Marquette lost its fourth consecutive game Saturday afternoon, splitting the season series against the Providence Friars. Sophomore guard Markus Howard was limited to just one 3-pointer.

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The final minute of action between Marquette and Providence was another back-and-forth affair for a Marquette team that lost to No. 1 Villanova by three less than a week earlier. After two missed free throws by Providence’s Maliek White with 6.4 seconds remaining, Greg Elliott grabbed the rebound and found Markus Howard.

Howard took two dribbles but was stripped in front of the Providence bench by Jalen Lindsey, where he would dribble out the remaining seconds until the final horn sounded. Howard sat on the floor utterly dejected as the Friar bench players ran to the floor and celebrated. The Golden Eagles fell to Providence 77-75 to drop their fourth game in a row.

On the one hand, Providence head coach Ed Cooley credited Lindsey for his “really good recognition” in the waning moments. “That was unbelievable,” Cooley said. “Normally in transition, you want to match up, but prior to, I said, ‘If they come together with John in the game, I said ‘corral the ball’, and Jalen (Lindsey) remembered it.”

But to Marquette and head coach Steve Wojciechowski, the game could’ve been won in several different spots, not just the Howard turnover.

“A lot of times, there’s a focus on the last play,” Wojo said. “That’s not why we lost the game … We lost the game because, in transition, when there’s an awareness to find Lindsey in transition because that’s his automatic shot, we didn’t do that twice in the first half.”

“We didn’t switch a ball screen, which was an easy switch and they got a three,” Wojo continued. “Offensively, the ball stuck a lot and because of their size and length, if it sticks, their defense loads, the ball’s got to move, and things will open up. Those are the things I look at, and we have to get better.”

The loss may puts Marquette in a challenging position in the BIG EAST, while the Friars (15-8, 6-4 in BIG EAST) reamined on the NCAA Tournament bubble.

While the Golden Eagles (13-10, 4-7 in BIG EAST) got back in the game late with an offensive burst, especially from the charity stripe, ultimately a cold streak lasting almost nine minutes without a field goal silenced an eager National Marquette Day crowd. When Greg Elliott finally ended the run with 6:52 remaining with a slam dunk, the Friars had sucked much of the life out of the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

Freshman forward Theo John led the charge back into the game, chipping in 14 points. While Markus Howard scored 52 points in the earlier matchup against Providence, the Friars limited him to 16 points tonight, including 1-for-6 shooting from beyond the 3-point arc.

“He was terrific,” Wojo said. “I thought we got a huge lift from Theo. I thought we got a huge lift from Greg (Elliott), and those two kids were really good in a very tough environment. I think sometimes it gets lost that we are the youngest team in the oldest conference… We are a lot younger than everybody else, we are one of the youngest teams in the United States.”

Howard was not the only one missing from long range. Marquette shot 4 of 16 from distance, a dismal 25 percent, including going 0-of-8 in the second half.

“They switched it up,” Hauser said. “We didn’t move the ball as well as we usually do and it messed with us a little bit.”

Sophomore Alpha Diallo led the Friars with 16 points, on 6-of-11 shooting. Senior Kyron Cartwright finished with 15 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.

Marquette had a 36-30 scoring advantage in the paint, but the Friars’ timely free throw shooting lifted them to a victory. Providence went 22 of 33 from the charity stripe in the second half.

The loss came despite a hot start for Marquette, as the Golden Eagles went 7 for 8 from the floor and had a 38-37 halftime lead. Foul trouble became an issue in the second half, as Andrew Rowsey fouled out with 6:52 remaining and finished with seven points on 2-of-5 shooting.

The Golden Eagles now are in danger of falling out of NCAA Tournament contention. They will travel to play formerly-ranked Seton Hall Wednesday night with hopes of snapping the four-game losing streak.

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