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Marquette Routs the Mount

Marquette Men's Basketball

Marquette Men’s Basketball

Marquette turned up the heat early and never looked back en route to a 80-59 victory over the Mountaineers of Mount St. Mary’s. 5th year senior Andrew Rowsey led all scorers with 23 points, ending up 1 point short of his Marquette career high that he set against DePaul last season. Matt Heldt and Haanif Cheatham chipped in 13 each and Markus Howard rounded out the double digit scorers with 11. This more than made up for Sam Hauser, who had a rare off night, going 0/3 from range and only managing 4 points total.

The Golden Eagles had a double digit lead before the 12 minute timeout. The Mount hung around for a few more minutes, cutting the lead to 6. Marquette finished the first half on a 22-7 run to take 21 point halftime lead. They managed this despite uncharacteristically cold outside shooting. In the first half, they went 3/10 from downtown and finished the night 6-21 (28.6%). Marquette won by dominating the paint, owning the boards, and winning the turnover battle.

The biggest lead of the night came on one of the most exciting plays of the game. Greg Elliott corralled a long rebound off a missed three pointer and immediately pushed into transition. With both Cheatham and his old AAU teammate Jamal Cain bearing down on a single defender, Elliott got the ball to Cain who put the poor Mountaineer on a poster with a thunderous one handed dunk. The fireworks pushed the lead to 36. Unfortunately, that was about the last highlight of the night. Wojo took his foot of the gas and played a lineup of Cheatham, Anim, and the freshmen trio. That group played for the next six minutes and gave up a 16-2 run. The game was in hand so it was good experience for the bench, but showed that the 2nd unit might not be ready quite yet.

Rowsey was by far the most complete player on the floor. He handled the press, lost his defenders easily, and scored at all three levels. Oh, and he did #thething twice, resulting in 5 free throw attempts. Perhaps the most impressive part of his game was the 5 dimes he dished out. There was one particularly pretty pocket pass where he managed to get around and send a pass behind his defender to a cutting Heldt for an easy layup. He is making a strong case for the role of primary ballhandler this season. Defensively, he did let his man get around him too often, resulting in 20 points for the 5’5 Junior Robinson. He did however deny the perimeter as Robinson went 0-7 from range. Robinson is usually electric from deep, he shot 39.8% with 70 makes last season and went 8/13 in their exhibition against Hood College just a week ago.

The defense as a whole was much improved compared to the Lindenwood debacle. The Mount shot 45% from the floor and 25% from beyond the arc. The numbers would have been even worse for the Mountaineers but they went 8/11 in garbage time after Wojo cleared his bench. The rotations were a lot quicker, there was less “overhelping,” and the Golden Eagles played with their hands up. It’s a small sample size but it’s an encouraging sign that Wojo’s work on defense might be paying off.

The most encouraging signs came from the Class of 2015. All three members, Heldt, Cheatham, and Sacar Anim played with noticeable confidence. Anim and Cheatham showed tremendous body control when slashing to the hoop both drawing and finishing through contact. Cheatham also calmly swished a corner three while Anim dished out 5 assists, most of them coming off his drives to the bucket. Heldt played inside himself, grabbing tough rebounds and willing the ball into the hoop on offense.  The 2015 trio will never be the shooters that the 2016 class is, but if they can continue this type of play, they will add a level of versatility to Marquette’s offense that will make it all the more potent.

As many quality signs as there were in this game, it cannot be emphasized enough that Mount St. Mary’s is a cupcake…and possibly one with a higher fat content that we originally projected. They have 12 freshmen on the roster (including walk ons) so it’s no surprise that they haven’t gelled as a team yet. They were also missing senior Chris Wray, their best defender and second best overall player who was out with a wrist injury.  Marquette took care of business, looked good doing it, but this game shouldn’t be used to project how the rest of the season will go. Purdue comes to town next and they might be Marquette’s toughest challenge of the entire year. Still, Marquette did manage a 21 point victory on a night where the threes weren’t falling. We know that Howard, Hauser, and Rowsey won’t combine for 5/16 (31.2%) from three very often this season. The outside shooting will be alright and it’s nice to see that there are some other weapons available.

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Categories: Game Recaps, Home

Author:Ryan Jackson

Texas A&M Professional, Marquette Fantatic

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