Golden Eagles offensively inept in loss at Green Bay

So that was just about as bad as it gets, right? Marquette’s hideous 49-47 loss to Green Bay last night signified just how far this team has to go to become an NCAA Tournament team by the end of the year.

Except for a stretch over the final 4:46 in the first half, when the Golden Eagles went on a 15-4 run to take a 31-29 halftime lead, Marquette looked offensively inept once again.

But this wasn’t just any kind of offensive struggle. Green Bay hadn’t beaten anybody when scoring less than 50 points since a 45-42 win over Detroit on Jan. 30, 2006.

Green Bay came in allowing opponents to score 69.4 points per game, including a whopping 93 in a loss to Cal State Fullerton on Nov. 18.

This was a team who previously lost to Idaho, Tennessee Tech and Southern Illinois at home. Marquette came in averaging 71 points per game and has now scored 49 points or fewer twice in 10 games.

The Golden Eagles didn’t score less than 57 points in any game last year.

Other than Jamil Wilson, who finished with 16 points, Marquette’s next leading scorer was Junior Cadougan, who went 4-for-12 and finished with eight points. In fact, Cadougan and Blue combined to go 6-for-22 – and 0-for-8 from three-point territory – and scored a total of 14 points.

Davante Gardner and Chris Otule took a combined five shots, making four of them, in 38 minutes. The two big men came in to the game averaging a combined 12.7 field goal attempts per game. If the Golden Eagles are going to be successful this year, they have to get Gardner and Otule more touches.

Marquette also assisted on just 11 of 19 made baskets (57.9 percent), which is well below coach Buzz Williams’ goal of 68 percent of assists-to-made-baskets ratio.

If that wasn’t bad enough, Marquette forced Green Bay to turn the ball over just nine times. The Phoenix came into the game averaging 13.4 turnovers per game.

The news wasn’t all bad, however. Marquette’s defense played well, allowing 10.2 points lower than its season average (59.2). In fact, if you take out the 82 points it allowed in the drubbing at Florida, the Golden Eagles are allowing just 56.7 points per game.

Wilson again showed glimpses of his potential in a 14-point first half and Marquette held 7-foot-1 NBA prospect Alec Brown to just nine points.

The bad news was Green Bay shot just 38.6 percent and won. The Phoenix also went to the free throw line 19 times, compared to just nine for Marquette.

As has been the case all season, the Golden Eagles continue to struggle from the charity stripe (44 percent last night) and are now shooting 68.2 percent from the line as a team.

The low amount of free throw attempts signifies Marquette got away from its strength, which is taking the ball to the basket and trying to draw fouls. Green Bay committed just 14 fouls all night, down from its season average of 19 fouls per game.

Finally, the 19 3-pointers Marquette jacked up was well above its average of 12.3 attempts per game. The Golden Eagles previous season-high for three-point attempts was 15 in its 79-46 win over Maryland-Baltimore County on Nov. 26.

This Golden Eagle team is simply not talented enough to rely on outside shooting and has to get back to what it does well, which is pound the ball inside, draw fouls and get to the free throw line. If they don’t do that, it could be a long season.

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