Foul trouble, turnovers in LA lead to second loss for MU

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Redshirt senior guard Koby McEwen (25) looks to make a play as sophomore guard D.J. Carton (21) cuts by (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette traveled to California Friday night for their first road game of the season against the University of California-Los Angeles Bruins. In a back-and-forth contest at the iconic Pauley Pavilion, the Golden Eagles went home with a 69-60 loss.

The game was tightly contested for nearly all 40 minutes of action. In the first half, it was sophomore guard D.J. Carton leading the way for the Golden Eagles.

Carton scored the first five points for Marquette and finished the first half with 14 points, including a buzzer-beating layup to bring the deficit to just two at the break.

Going into the half, Marquette had 12 turnovers and senior forward Theo John and first-year forward Justin Lewis each had three fouls, putting them both in foul trouble. Redshirt senior guard Koby McEwen and first-year forward Dawson Garcia also had two fouls apiece.

In the second half, the game continued to be a close battle. It was not until there were just a few minutes left in the half that the Bruins started to pull away.

Fouls became even more of a story in the final 20 minutes. Lewis only played 12 minutes on the night, recording four fouls, with John finishing with four as well. McEwen also fouled out right at the end of the game as the Golden Eagles were trying to mount a comeback.

UCLA dealt with some foul trouble as well, as their leading scorer, sophomore guard/forward Jaime Jaquez Jr., picked up his fourth personal with about six minutes to go. He was able to come back and finish the game with 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting.

Junior guard Jules Bernard was the only other Bruin in double-digits with 15 points, but redshirt sophomore guard Tyger Cambell led both sides with nine assists, his last being an alley-oop to junior forward/center Jalen Hill with four minutes left that gave UCLA a six-point lead.

For Marquette, Carton tacked a few more points on his total to finish with 18 for the game, along with five rebounds and four assists. However, he shot just 1-for-6 from the field in the second half and the team scored 26 points in the second half compared to their 34 in the first.

Garcia was the only other Marquette player in double-figures with 12 points and four rebounds. Redshirt junior guard Greg Elliott had his best game of the season off the bench, scoring eight points.

What ultimately killed the Golden Eagles in this game was, along with the foul trouble, turnovers. Marquette finished with 18 turnovers on the night compared to just seven by UCLA. McEwen had four turnovers, Carton and Garcia each had three and every other player who saw the floor besides first-year forward Oso Ighodaro had at least one.

Both teams were nearly identical percentage-wise from the field and the free throw line. Marquette did have an advantage in the rebounding department, but the Golden Eagles made just one of their final eight shot attempts, another reason why they left Los Angeles with their second loss.

This was the final non-conference game for Marquette. The Golden Eagles will head to Omaha for the team’s BIG EAST opener against the No. 8 Creighton Bluejays Monday night.The game will be telecasted on FS1.

This story was written by Matt Yeazel. He can be reached at matthew.yeazel@marquette.edu or on Twitter @MJYeazel.