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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 4 Golden Eagles’ second half comeback falls short in Maui Invitational championship

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Senior guard Tyler Kolek finished with 22 points in Marquette men’s basketball’s 78-75 loss to Purdue Wednesday night. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Marquette men’s basketball had a chance to make history.

After handling the No. 1 Kansas Jayhawks Tuesday, the No. 4 Golden Eagles turned their sights towards the No. 2 Purdue Boilermakers, hoping to become the first-ever team to beat the AP Poll No. 1 and 2 ranked teams on consecutive days.

But foul trouble and poor shooting from deep meant Marquette (5-1) was unable to achieve the feat, falling to Purdue (6-0) 78-75 in the Maui Invitational championship Wednesday night at the Stan Sheriff Center. 

“Our guys showed tremendous guts,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart told ESPN Milwaukee broadcasters Steve “The Homer” True and Tony Smith in a post-game radio interview. “That was our theme for this tournament. The guys really buckled down and did everything they could to get stops and get their hands on the basketball.”

Second half comeback falls short

In Monday’s first-round game against UCLA, Marquette went on a 17-0 run in the second half to come back and win. 

That was not in the cards for the Golden Eagles Wednesday as they were unable to erase the first-half deficit in the final 20 minutes. 

Although Marquette outscored Purdue 42-33 in the second half, the Boilermakers’ persistent offense made several shots down the stretch to hold off the Golden Eagles. 

After being down by as many as 15 points, senior forward Oso Ighodaro made Marquette’s last three field goals to put his team within one with 53 seconds left to play. But 37 seconds later, senior center Zach Edey sealed the game by making a second-chance layup, bringing Purdue’s lead back out to three.

The Golden Eagles had the final shot, but junior guard Kam Jones’ 3-pointer was off the mark and the Boilermakers’ took home the victory. 

Overall, Purdue scored 20 second-chance points compared to Marquette’s three. The Boilermakers also won the rebounding battle 36-23, getting 13 boards on the offensive glass.

Boilermakers boosted by triples

Heading into the championship, Purdue had only made eight 3-pointers in its two previous Maui games. 

However, in the first half, the Boilermakers went 7-for-9 from beyond the arc — including a halftime buzzer-beater from over 70-feet out from fifth year guard Lance Jones  — to take a 12-point lead into the locker room. 

Down by one, sophomore guard Braden Smith netted a 3-pointer to start a 10-0 run that saw two other triples fall, putting Purdue ahead 29-20 with 6:38 left to play in the first half. 

Meanwhile, Marquette went 1-for-7 from beyond the arc with the lone 3-pointer coming from senior guard Tyler Kolek. The Golden Eagles also picked up 10 team fouls in the first 20 minutes, while Purdue had just five.

“When they’re making shots they way they were in the first half and Edey’s going to work and we’re in foul trouble, there’s no scheme to adjust to,” Smart said. “It’s about doing what you’re doing harder, better and tougher.”

Purdue finished the game with a 47.6% mark from beyond the arc while Marquette ended 29.4% from deep.

Statistical leaders

Kolek led Marquette offensively, netting 22 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out six assists in 37 minutes of action. Ighodaro earned 16 points, scoring 12 in the second half alone, while Jones recorded 17 points. 

For Purdue, Edey earned a double-double with 28 points and 15 rebounds, marking the 57th consecutive game that he has scored over 10 points, the longest active streak in the nation. Smith also netted 18 points while going 4-for-6 from beyond the arc. 

“Edey was a load,” Smart said. “He was the best player on the floor today. We were able to turn him over when we got to our double teams, but the catches where he was really deep, it was hard to double those.”

Up next

Marquette will travel back to Milwaukee to host Southern Tuesday at 8 p.m. CST. 

“Some of these teams down here could very easily see each other again in March,” Smart said. “Not necessarily us and Purdue, but you look at this field, and there’s a lot of teams here that are going to be in the NCAA Tournament.

“We wanted to go after this game and win this championship, but now it’s going to be about — for the eight teams that were here — who can continue to grow and be significantly better by March compared to where we are today.”

This article was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaylynnWrightMU. 

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About the Contributor
Kaylynn Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylynn Wright is a sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin studying journalism, and she is an Assistant Sports Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading and watching baseball, specifically the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. She is excited to meet new people and continue to create high-quality sports content for the Wire.

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