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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Men’s basketball looks to avenge St. John’s loss

Photo by Helen Dudley

When Marquette men’s basketball faces St. John’s Tuesday night, it’ll be nearly a month after the Golden Eagles’ 20-point loss earlier this year to the Red Storm. The Golden Eagles do not need any reminders of their lone conference loss, though.

“That didn’t leave a good taste in our mouths,” junior forward Sam Hauser said. “We just have to learn from what we didn’t do right in the first game.”

Head coach Steve Wojciechowski had three words to describe what the team needs to do differently in Tuesday’s rematch: “a whole lot.”

“They did a great job against us on the offensive and defensive end of the floor,” Wojciechowski said.

Marquette had the lead for less than three minutes and allowed 54 percent shooting in the Jan. 1 loss.

“They have so many good isolation players that you can’t leave your teammate out on an island to guard one-on-one,” Wojciechowski said. “In those situations, they’re very very talented. … They provide a lot of challenges defensively.”

St. John’s relied on its transition offense, finishing the game with a 12-0 advantage in fastbreak scoring. It was an issue Wojciechowski said can’t happen again.

“That starts with taking good shots and not turning it over,” Wojciechowski said. “That’s a huge key for us, because they’re devastating in transition.”

The Red Storm also scored 14 points off 12 Marquette turnovers.

St. John’s guard Shamorie Ponds led the Red Storm with 26 points on 8-for-15 shooting, but he wasn’t the only player to cause issues for Marquette’s defense.

Forward Marvin Clark II had 22 points on 7-for-10 shooting, hit four 3-pointers and grabbed seven rebounds. He also had a block and steal. Wojciechowski compared him to Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors after the game.

“He’s really a stretch-five,” Wojciechowski said. “You put your center in a lot of difficult situations when you guard him because he’s a terrific shooter. He’s really good off the dribble if you close out too aggressively. … We didn’t have an answer last time. Hopefully we’ll have an answer this time.”

The effort wasn’t great either, redshirt junior Sacar Anim said.

“We gave up there at the end,” Anim said. “The first thing we need to do is compete.”

It was the team’s second 20-plus point loss of the season. The other one was a 23-point loss at Indiana Nov. 14. That loss has stuck with the team as well.

“(St. John’s) was the worst loss since Indiana,” Anim said. “Indiana is obviously past us, but St. John’s is in our conference.”

Marquette has the benefit of playing at home Tuesday, where the team is still undefeated.

“There’s a great comfort zone (at Fiserv Forum) too,” Wojciechowski said. “We’ve had a lot of challenges on our home floor. Our guys have answered the bell. There are a lot more challenges to come, though.”

“It’s a lot different than the Bradley Center,” Hauser said. “It just gives us a true home-court advantage.”

Marquette is on an eight-game win streak, but Wojciechowski said he is wary of putting too much thought into the streak.

“Momentum is very fragile,” Wojciechowski said. “Just because you’re in a position where you’ve played well doesn’t guarantee today or (tomorrow’s) success. … We feel like we have a lot of room for improvement still.”

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