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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

All-American Tyler Kolek drops 28 points in No. 8 Golden Eagles’ 86-65 win over No. 12 Texas

Tyler+Kolek+finished+Marquettes+86-65+win+over+Texas+one+point+and+one+rebound+shy+of+tying+his+career-highs+in+both+categories.
Photo by Forster Goodrich
Tyler Kolek finished Marquette’s 86-65 win over Texas one point and one rebound shy of tying his career-highs in both categories.

Tyler Kolek was on the court long after the final buzzer sounded.

After all, a small horde of people had made their way down the Fiserv Forum bleachers to get some autographs from the man of the hour.

The man who put up 28 points, eight rebounds, six assists and three steals. The man who scored back-to-back 3-pointers to give his team a 14-point lead going into halftime. The man whose performance pushed No. 8 Marquette men’s basketball past No. 12 Texas 86-65 Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum. Can you blame them?

So Kolek happily obliged, hanging around to take some pictures and sign some shirts and posters.

“They show us a lot of spirit during the game, so after the game, I want to show them a little bit of love,” Kolek said.

Facing his former team

Marquette head coach Shaka Smart had one of his weekly meetings with Kolek and forward Oso Ighodaro. In it, the two seniors asked the obvious question: What will it be like to play against Texas?

Smart told them he didn’t really care about playing against his old stomping grounds.

“Bull—,” Kolek said his response to Smart was.

After the win, Kolek grabbed Smart and told him this: “This one was for you.”

“I know how much it mean to him. I know he’s probably not going to say that, or let that be out there,” Kolek said. “Whatever went on over there, definitely left a little sour taste in his mouth, I’m sure.

“He’s never really spoke anything negative about Texas or anything like that, but I know deep down it really meant something to him, so I try to go out there for him.”

Smart said that he really appreciated the six years he spent as the head coach of the Longhorns and being able to see someone he previously coached (Brock Cunningham).

“Six great years of Texas, grateful for all the people that I get to spend time with and be around there,” Smart said. “But I’m an ‘in the moment’ guy. And if you can’t be in the moment here at Marquette — in that arena, with this group of guys, and this schedule and this opportunity that we have — something’s wrong with you.”

Improved on the glass

Marquette had as many rebounds in the first half tonight as it did in the entire game Saturday against Wisconsin. The Golden Eagles were able to grab 23 rebounds in the opening 20 minutes, four more than the Longhorns’ 19.

By the end of the game, Marquette had 37 compared to Texas’ 30.

“It’s amazing when you have desperation as as a unit to go grab the ball, how much better you can be,” Smart said. “A lot of things have probably been said or written about rebounding.

“But at the end of the day, it’s not about what’s said or written, it’s about going and grabbing that ball. And I thought our guys had really good energy and urgency on the glass.”

Three Golden Eagles — Oso Ighodaro, Stevie Mitchell and Kolek — had at least five rebounds and 10 earned at least one board.

Marquette had eight offensive and 29 defensive rebounds and Texas had seven and 23 in those two categories respectively.

“We thought coming into the game that we could try to impose our will on those guys in terms of getting extra possessions in terms of offensive rebounding, and we weren’t able to do that at the level that we thought we were going to be to do that,” Texas head coach Rodney Terry said.

“But give them credit. They were physical, they came out with a good mindset.”

Offense back at it

After Marquette’s worst shooting performance of the season against the Badgers, the Golden Eagles’ offense was humming once again.

Marquette relies heavily on 3-pointers, and despite starting the game 1-for-9 from beyond the arc, it finished 14-for-30 (46.7%) from deep. The Golden Eagles also finished 30-for-59 from the field.

Texas finished 25-for-60 from the field and 4-for-16 from deep, making zero 3-pointers in the second half.

“We were more focused, more engaged than against Wisconsin. I feel like we let them (the Badgers) dictate what they wanted to do. And I felt like today we did the opposite,” Kolek said about the defense.

“We really dictated and set the pace. It started out early, they were (up) 9-3, hit three straight threes. But we we never went away. We kept coming, and we kept playing.”

Statistical leaders

Along with Kolek’s 28 points, junior guard Kam Jones and sophomore guard Chase Ross finished with 17 and 12 points respectively.

For Texas, Abmas earned a team-high 25 points, shooting 10-for-19 from the field. Sophomore guard Chendall Weaver was the only other Longhorn to finish with double-digit points, scoring 10.

Up next

Marquette plays the second installment of its home-and-home series against Notre Dame (4-4) Saturday night at Fiserv Forum at 8 p.m. CST. The Golden Eagles won their game against the Fighting Irish last year 79-64 at Purcell Pavilion.

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributors
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.
Forster Goodrich, Staff Photographer
Forster Goodrich is a sophomore from Lyme, New Hampshire studying digital media. Forster works on the photography desk as a Staff Photographer. Outside of the Wire, he is on the club waterski team, and enjoys everything outdoors. He is looking forward to the upcoming basketball season and getting to photograph games at Fiserv Forum.

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