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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

MUBB-UConn takeaways: Oso’s bittersweet night, Huskies dominate glass, players step up in Kolek’s absence

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Photo by Keifer Russell
First-year guard Tre Norman celebrates after a layup in Marquette’s loss to UConn.

No. 8 Marquette men’s basketball fell to No. 2 UConn, 74-67, Wednesday night at Fiserv Forum in the Golden Eagles’ home finale.

Here are three takeaways from the loss:

A bittersweet night for Oso

Oso Ighodaro left it all on the court for his Senior Night, finishing with a near-double-double of 16 points and eight rebounds.

The senior forward was honored before tip-off, but once the game started his full focus was on earning another victory.

“There’s for sure a lot of emotion, this being the last time in this gym with my best friends out here,” Ighodaro said. “That went pretty quick. We just wanted to win the game, honestly.

“We got all our emotions out last night at dinner. Everyone was talking and let all that out.”

Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said Ighodaro is going to be someone that’s honored at Marquette for the player and person he is.

 “He’s the best leader I’ve ever coached. He’s the most unselfish great player I’ve ever coached,” Smart said. “As a basketball player, he’s the most unique player I’ve ever coached, just the combination of things that he brings to the table.

“I told him last night at our senior dinner, ‘I wish you knew how successful you’re going to be.’ I don’t think he all the way knows it yet.”

UConn’s rebounding stifles Marquette

The Huskies bodied the Golden Eagles all night, out-rebounding them 44-31 and scoring 19 second-chance points.

“There were a lot of loose balls on the court and we didn’t do a good enough job going to get them, and that’s just on us we have to play harder,” Oso said.

Five Huskies — Donovan Clingan (12), Cam Spencer (8), Tristen Newton (6), Hassan Diarra (6) and Alex Karaban (5) — grabbed at least five boards.

“Obviously they have the tallest guys on the court with Clingan. It’s not so much the ones he gets, because those are expected,” Smart said. “But they did a good job with Castle and Spencer and Tristen Newton and different guys on their team flying in there.

“So you have to have every single guy on your defensive end take care of his assignment. Of hitting someone and then going to grab the ball. There were times when most of our guys did it.”

Players step up in Kolek’s absence

With the absence of senior guard Tyler Kolek, the Golden Eagles were forced to adjust their offense and people needed to step up.

Enter first-year guard Tre Norman, who finished with nine points and two steals in 16 minutes.

“I liked the competitive fire in his eyes. That’s the guy we recruited. He played with no fear,” Smart said. “And so, ironically, though this was a loss, this was a high, high-level game. And Tre looked like he belonged, and so that’s something he can get better from.”

Junior guard Stevie Mitchell also helped filled the Golden Eagles’ Kolek-sized hole, filling up the stat sheet with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and two steals.

Kam Jones, who had to primarily run the offense in place of Kolek, led Marquette with 18 points.

“The last two games we’ve asked Kam to do something that he’s really never practiced since he’s been here and he’s done some really good things and I think he’s going to keep improving,” Smart said.

This story was written by Sophia Tiedge. She can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Contributors
Sophia Tiedge, Executive News Editor
Sophia is a sophomore from Arlington Heights, IL studying journalism. This year she will serving as the Executive News Editor after spending last year as a news reporter. In her free time, Sophia enjoys reading, working out and going to new places with her friends. This year Sophia is looking forward to collaborating with others and learning more about what happens on campus.
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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