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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 8 Marquette routs Notre Dame 78-59 behind a strong defensive performance

Photo by Forster Goodrich
Senior forward Oso Ighodaro finished Marquette’s 78-59 win over Notre Dame with 20 points.

The layup may have only counted for two points on the scoresheet, but it represented something bigger than a measly two-point basket in the first half.

Senior guard Tyler Kolek took the ball down the entire court and put up a solo-effort layup that bounced off the backboard and dribbled into the net. The seemingly-forgettable play marked something unforgettable, a 17-0 Marquette run to start the game and nearly seven scoreless minutes for Notre Dame. 

The Fighting Irish would eventually get on the board a few seconds later, but in that seven-minute stretch, the Golden Eagles forced them to commit two shot clock violations, seven turnovers, four fouls and shoot 0-for-7 from the field. 

Notre Dame head coach Micah Shrewsberry didn’t even wait until the under-16 media stoppage before calling his first timeout, he had seen enough.

After that start, No. 8 Marquette men’s basketball (8-2) had a smooth-sailing road to victory over Notre Dame (4-5) 78-59 Saturday night at Fiserv Forum.

“I’m grateful for our fans. It was an unbelievable atmosphere tonight,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said. “We never take that for granted. The guys were excited when they heard that the game was sold out, and they really wanted to come into the game locked in. Our focus to start the game was great.”

Defense on display

The Golden Eagles’ defense was a defining factor in this game, as it earned its first “dead skunk” — nine straight defensive stops —of the year, while preventing the Fighting Irish from scoring in their first 10 possessions.

“Multiple efforts, deflections, helping each other,” Smart said about the defense. “Anytime you play a group that is a young team, and they have to come into your place, you want to really set a tone with aggressiveness and defensive violence and get your hands on the basketball. Our guys did a nice job of that early in the game.”

At the end of the opening half, the Golden Eagles took an 11-0 run into the locker room and had held the Fighting Irish to 24 points, the least amount they’ve allowed in a half this season.

“We came into the game with a good mindset,” Ighodaro said. “We were focused and we really just helped each other. That first couple minutes were really good for us. If we can guard like that, we can beat anyone.”

Marquette also shot 60.7% from the floor and 60% from beyond the arc, compared to Notre Dame’s 37.5% and 26.7% respectively. 

Despite outscoring the Golden Eagles in the second half, the Fighting Irish could not find a way back into the game and was handed its fifth loss of the season. 

“We’ve got a bunch of early season tests as a team, but this is the best team we’ve played,” Shrewsberry said. “How they play, how they move, how they share and how they defend with effort — this is the best team we’ve played.”

Chase Ross makes first career start 

Before the game, it was announced that junior guard Stevie Mitchell would not be available to play due to a hamstring injury. 

In his place, Ross made his first career start, finishing with eight points and a career-high eight rebounds in 27 minutes of action.

“He’s awesome,” Smart said. “I love the guy. I wish we could clone him. He’s a type of guy (where) you can never have enough people like him. He’s got that unselfishness about him. He’s got a toughness about him.”

Although it was Ross who stepped up tonight, Ighodaro said he has complete faith in anyone who steps out on the court.

“We’re super confident (in) Chase (and) all our guys,” Ighodaro said. “Stevie was out unfortunately tonight, but we trust everyone on our team, and whoever’s up next, we trust them.”

Smart said there is no timetable of when Mitchell will return to the starting lineup.

Statistical leaders

Ighodaro led Marquette with 20 points — just two points from matching his career-high — and went a perfect 8-for-8 from the charity stripe. Kolek also finished with 17 points and seven assists, while Jones earned 11 points of his own.

Defensively, the Golden Eagles finished with eight kills and 24 deflections. On the other end of the court, they finished with 42 paint points, while the Fighting Irish had 18.

For Notre Dame, first-year guard Markus Burton recorded 20 points while going 8-for-15 from the field. 

Up next

Marquette will finish out its non-conference schedule against St. Thomas (5-4) Thursday at 7 p.m. CST.

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

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About the Contributors
Kaylynn Wright
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.
Forster Goodrich
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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