MU stumbles its way to an early exit in New York

Turnovers and offensive rebounds were the difference in No. 9 Marquette’s 84-71 loss to Louisville in the quarterfinals of the Big East Championship tournament on Thursday night.

Marquette (25-7) turned the ball over 26 times and allowed the Cardinals (24-9) to grab 26 offensive rebounds in the loss.

Both numbers were a season high in terms of turnovers and offensive rebounds allowed and the 84 points Marquette allowed were the most it allowed this year.

Coach Buzz Williams blamed himself for the team’s inability to hang onto the ball and box out.

“When you turn the ball over more than we ever have since I got hired and allow more offensive rebounds than we’ve ever allowed since I was hired, that’s on me,” Williams said.

Junior guard Junior Cadougan turned the ball over eight times, including seven in the first half when the Golden Eagles allowed Louisville to score 50 points and lead by 10 at the break. The 50 points were the most allowed in the first half this season.

“I let my team down big time tonight,” Cadougan said of his eight turnovers. “It’s my job to take care of the ball and I definitely didn’t do that.”

Cadougan wasn’t alone. Darius Johnson-Odom and Vander Blue each had six turnovers as well.

Sophomore center Gorgui Dieng and junior forward Jared Swopshire combined for half of the Cardinals’ offensive rebounds, despite playing 42 minutes combined.

Johnson-Odom led the Golden Eagles with 23 points, but took 18 shots in the process.

Senior forward Jae Crowder (10) and sophomore forward Jamil Wilson (13) joined Johnson-Odom in double digits, but Marquette never led and trailed by as many as 15 points just six minutes into the game.

The Cardinals led Marquette 18-2 just 6 minutes and 5 seconds into the first half in the team’s first meeting back on Jan. 16, a game the Golden Eagles came back to win, 74-63.

Making matters worse is that Louisville shot just 37.7 percent from the field, but took 77 shots in large part due to second and third chances.

Senior forward Kyle Kuric lead the Cardinals with 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting after scoring 13 in a 61-55 win over Seton Hall Wednesday night.

Junior guard Peyton Siva continued his solid Big East tournament for Louisville, scoring 18 points, dishing out six assists and pulling down eight rebounds including four on the offensive end.

What lies next for the Golden Eagles is uncertain. They certainly won’t sweat out Selection Sunday like last year, but could see themselves drop from their projected No. 3 seed to a No. 4 seed when the bracket is revealed on Mar. 11.

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Categories: Game Recaps

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