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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

FLOOR SLAPS: Frustration mounts as Marquette drops a close one

Photo by Jordan Johnson

A dejected Markus Howard slumped on the floor of the BMO Harris Bradley Center was the defining image from a 77-75 Marquette loss to Providence on National Marquette Day, the team’s fourth defeat in a row.

However, Howard’s game-ending turnover was hardly the reason Marquette lost. There were plenty of moments throughout the game that tipped the scales in Providence’s favor.

“It doesn’t come down to the last play,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “It never does. I think a lot of times there’s a focus on the last play. That’s not why we lost the game.”


The Golden Eagles’ offense started out the day great, hitting its first four attempts from beyond the 3-point line. Instead of maintaining that hot hand, the shooting sputtered later in the first half and into the second. Marquette didn’t make a single 3-pointer the rest of the day. That included an 0-for-8 drought in the second half.

Most of that had to do with Providence’s switch from a man-to-man defense to a zone look. Providence head coach Ed Cooley credited his team’s toughness, but also insinuated that the Friars had luck on their side.

“We put our hands up and they missed,” Cooley said. “Anytime you play zone and you play against a great shooting team, it’s not so much about your zone slides as where their personnel is and what they’re trying to do … it wasn’t so much about the zone being great as it was they missed shots that they normally make.”

Marquette sophomore Sam Hauser, who put up 15 points, noticed that opponents were focusing more on taking his 3-pointer away. Providence was no exception; the Friars forced Hauser to shoot 1-of-5 from beyond the arc. Hauser was forced to take it into the paint more in response.

“They’ve been taking away my three lately, so I’m just trying to expand my game,” Hauser said.


If Marquette fans are looking for a silver lining to this loss, Theo John’s performance is a good place to start. John scored a career-high 14 points and grabbed six rebounds, which is tied for his career-best.

“What he did tonight, you can probably expect that for every game if he plays up to his potential,” Hauser said. “He’s just going to keep getting better.”

John added five blocks to what ended up being his best defensive performance of the season. He also didn’t pick up his first foul until the 14 minute mark of the game, a significant improvement from his usual average of 8.6 fouls called per 40 minutes.

It was at the end of the game when John shined the most. With Providence leading 71-65 and just over two minutes left, John got fouled in the lane and defied his 39 percent free throw percentage, sinking both shots to cut the lead to four. Approximately 30 seconds later, John stole the ball from Providence’s Isaiah Jackson and finished a layup on the ensuing possession.

Both coaches praised John and fellow freshman Greg Elliott, who scored 13 points, in the postgame press conference. Cooley said the two freshmen were “growing up right before our eyes” while Wojo emphasized how proud he was of both players.

“We’re asking a lot of a lot of young guys,” Wojo said. “I thought the effort was there and I thought the competitive spirit was there.”



Wojo started off his press conference in an optimistic mood. “I love my team,” Wojo said. “This is part of our journey.”

That attitude wouldn’t last. When asked a question about what he thought he could do better as a coach, something that Wojo referenced after losses to both Xavier and Butler in the last two weeks, he assumed responsibility for his team’s performance.

“It’s my responsibility,” Wojo said. “I’ve got a young group, I’m trying to coach my butt off, we’re not playing as well as we like and it’s my responsibility. Don’t ever put anything on our players. If they’re not playing up to the level they’re capable of playing, it’s me.”

There was a laundry list of things that Wojo said he needed to approve on. “I think it should all be put on me,” Wojo said. “Every area. I think I’ve got to do a better job coaching defense, got to do a better job coaching offense, got to do a better job coaching special situations.”

Two minutes later, Wojo slammed pages of statistics against the podium and walked out.

(It should be noted that his seven-minute, twenty-second appearance was about the standard length.)


“You’ll evaluate the game, you pick it apart, man. You figure out where I need to do a better job.” – Wojo to the press.


Marquette shot under 30 percent on 3-pointers for the third time in four games.


Marquette hits the road for a three-game trip. The first game of that stretch is against Seton Hall on Wednesday.

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