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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Second half collapse delays Marquette from locking up No. 5 seed

Photo by Collin Nawrocki
Redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis (10) drives to the lane in Marquette men’s basketball win over Butler Feb. 26.

Following a win at home against Butler Saturday, Marquette traveled to Chicago to take on I-94 rival DePaul looking for the regular season series sweep.

Behind a second half collapse, the Golden Eagles dropped its fifth straight road match 91-80 Wednesday night at Wintrust Arena.

In what was a back-and-forth first half, Marquette entered the halftime break leading 37-33 after DePaul senior guard Courvoisier McCauley’s layup rolled out of the rim in winding seconds of the half.

At the break, Marquette was shooting 53% from the field compared to DePaul shooting just 38%. However, the Blue Demons led the boards battle 21-15 with a 7-1 advantage on offensive rebounds.

Early into the second half, the Golden Eagles had its largest lead of the night at seven after graduate student forward Kur Kuath finished of an alley hoop pass from redshirt first-year guard Tyler Kolek at the 18:36 mark.

The Blue Demons continued to chip away, keeping themselves in the game with layups from guards Javon Freeman-Liberty and Jalen Terry.

Shortly thereafter, three straight 3-pointers from Freeman-Liberty and Jalen Terry gave DePaul a 54-46 lead forcing Marquette head coach Shaka Smart to call a timeout.

DePaul quickly built its lead to 13 after an 18-2 run before Marquette graduate student guard hit a 3-pointer to bring the deficit to 61-51 with 11:41 remaining. It was the first 3-pointer a Marquette player outside of redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis hit.

From there, Marquette had no answer as DePaul was able to take full control.

On the night, the Blue Demons scored 18 points off of the Golden Eagles’ 17 turnovers while Marquette scored 15 points off of DePaul’s 15 turnovers.

For DePaul, all five of its starts finished in double figures. Freeman-Liberty led the way with 26 points on 8-for-20 shooting from the field. The Chicago, Illinois, native also had nine rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Sophomore guard Jalen Terry and sophomore forward David Jones each had 16 points. Junior center Nick Ongenda and graduate student forward Brandon Johnson added 13 points each.

For Marquette, it was Lewis leading the way scoring a team-high 26 points on 11-for-18 shooting from the field. He would add a game-high 10 rebounds and two assists on the evening. It is the sixth double-double of the season for Lewis.

First-year guard Stevie Mitchell finished with 12 points on 5-for-7 shooting along with three steals, two rebounds and an assist. Morsell added 12 points, two rebounds, a block and a steal on the evening.

Notably, redshirt junior guard Greg Elliott left the game at the 13:49 mark of the second half with an apparent ankle leg injury. Elliott did not return to the game.

With the loss, Marquette failed to lock up the No. 5 seed in next weekend’s BIG EAST Tournament at Madison Square Garden. Additionally, with Seton Hall’s win over 73-68 over Georgetown earlier tonight the Golden Eagles are tied with the Pirates at a 10-8 conference record.

Marquette (18-11, 10-8 BIG EAST) will now return to Fiserv Forum Saturday to round out the regular season in hopes of locking the No. 5 seed and a first-round bye against St. John’s on Senior Night. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. CST on FS1.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU.

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