Marquette hands DePaul first conference win of season in Milwaukee

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Redshirt senior guard Koby McEwen (25) watches his shot after shooting a three (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

The Marquette Golden Eagles lost their first game since Jan. 5 after falling to the DePaul Blue Demons by a score of 68-61 Saturday night.

DePaul had not won in Milwaukee since Jan. 2o, 2016. The Blue Demons also entered Saturday’s game 0-5 in BIG EAST play and had lost five of their last six matchups.

Marquette could not find an offensive rhythm from the start. The Golden Eagles shot 28% in the first half and made just eight field goals in 29 attempts. They also gave DePaul numerous extra possessions, turning the ball over 10 times in the first 20 minutes.

“(Turnovers) come in different varieties, and some of them are mind boggling,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “Today we had more of them and that’s something we’ll continue to address, and watch, and drill.”

The offensive struggles continued for the majority of the second half and the Blue Demons jumped to a 13-point lead. Sophomore guard D.J. Carton was the only scorer who finished in double figures for MU. The Ohio State transfer had 23 points, three rebounds and three assists.

After being down 13, the Golden Eagles started to claw their way back. A jumper by redshirt senior guard Koby McEwen kickstarted the rally and Carton kept it going with nine points in a three-minute span. Sophomore guard Symir Torrence hit a three to bring Marquette within two, and senior forward Jamal Cain would later sink one from distance in the corner to give MU their first lead since early in the first half.

DePaul responded and junior guard Javon Freeman-Liberty and senior guard Charlie Moore combined for eight straight points to take a 62-56 lead. Moore and Freeman-Liberty both had strong performances for the Blue Demons. Moore finished with 21 points, three rebounds, three assists and two steals and Freeman-Liberty posted 19 points, six rebounds, two steals and one assist.

After surging back, Marquette was once again contained and scored just five points in the last three minutes and 47 seconds.

“Look, to win in this conference you got to put 40 minutes together and we’re young in key spots but that’s not an excuse,” Wojciechowski said. “It’s hard to win in this conference and you got no chance if you don’t sellout with your effort each and every game.”

Moore sealed the victory by hitting eight straight free throws to close the game. The Chicago native converted all 10 of his attempts from the charity stripe and has now made 20 free throws in 25 attempts on the season.

The Golden Eagles had not played in a week, due to their game against Georgetown being postponed after the Hoyas had COVID-19 issues within their program. Prior to the break, Marquette had put together back-to-back wins against Providence and St. John’s.

Wojciechowski said it is hard to tell how much the break impacted the results of the game.

“There’s no excuse,” Wojciechowski said. “We have to be better in all facets of the game, whether we played or not. At the end of the day, to win a BIG EAST game, you got to put 40 minutes of high-level effort together.”

Marquette will travel out to Providence, Rhode Island Wednesday for their second matchup of the season against the Friars. MU beat Providence 79-69 back on Jan. 12 at Fiserv Forum. The game will be telecasted on CBS Sports Network.

This story was written by Nick Galle. He can be reached at nicholas.galle@marquette.edu or on Twitter @thenickgalle