Tuning up for this Monday night’s game against Texas Tech, Marquette met up with Eastern Michigan on Saturday afternoon at the Bradley Center.
This game started out as déjà vu of Marquette’s game against Idaho State this past week which was characterized by poor shooting and failed execution. However, this time Marquette overcame a poor shooting effort early with a strong second half shooting performance, in which they shot 8 of 13 from behind the arch.
Coach Crean commented on the game as a tune-up, saying, “This game was exactly the kind of game we wanted to play before we go on the road to play some excellent basketball teams. We played great defense and executed our game plan.”
Marquette started the game by falling behind early and not scoring until 15:45 left in the first half on an impressive slam dunk by Jerel McNeal. From there, Marquette refocused itself and took control of the game. Marquette closed out the first half with a lead of 44-32.
Coach Crean commented on the slow start to the game, saying, “Our team played a very solid thirty-five minutes of basketball, take away the first five minutes, we scored about 95 points in that time period. Once we settled down, we were able to execute our game plan.”
In the second half, Marquette picked up where they left off, expanding their lead to over thirty points and shooting 61.5% from behind the arch. Besides getting hot from behind the arch, Marquette was also able to force Eastern Michigan into 26 turnovers throughout the game.
Jerel McNeal commented on this trend of high turnover margins for their opponents, “Increasing turnovers has been a goal for us and we are beginning to see our work pay off.” As of the end of the EMU game, Marquette forced an average of 24.5 turnovers per game.
Scoring for the Golden Eagles was led by Dominic James who had seventeen points, six assists and three steals, most occurring in the second half after a slow start. However, Wesley Mathews, Dan Fitzgerald, David Cubillan, and Lazar Hayward all chipped in double digit scoring efforts for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette will now face Bobby Knight and Texas Tech Red Raiders this upcoming Monday night in the semi-final game of the CBE classic. This game should prove as a more than adequate challenge to a young Golden Eagle squad who will be facing a Texas Tech team that, according to Coach Crean, “will not beat themselves, and will remain incredibly disciplined defensively.”
**Pat Barry is a senior majoring in Accounting.
**Andrew Phillips is a senior majoring in Political Science.