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Mustangs Over the Jays on Special Olympics Night at Marquette
February 2, 2013Marquette Mustang Basketball
On a night that was totally dominated by the exhibition game played by the local West County Special Olympics team prior to the varsity match-up, MHS was able to stretch out a close halftime advantage to defeat visiting Jefferson City 67-54.
In a game thought to be between two similar in style and talent squads, that thought proved to be more than accurate early on. Marquette’s first two buckets were treys as Dillon Jones connected on the first possession and a minute later John Conlon was able to grab an offensive carom and dish it out to Tanner Stabenow for another long-range bucket and a 6-2 lead. Unfortunately, the early marksmanship from long range proved to be fleeting as the next seven attempts from behind the arc in the opening quarter would fall astray. With Conlon nailing a lay-in off a Stabenow dish and Brooks Gerrity driving the lane along with free throws by Dillon Jones and Matt Hink (returning from a one game injury hiatus), the Mustangs were able to stay abreast of the Jays and walk off the floor at the end of the first tied 13-all.
The second was one of missed opportunities. With the three-pointers not falling, MHS took their offensive thrust to the basket this quarter. After shooting 2/10 from long-range in the first, Marquette took a total of zero three-pointers in the second. Great looks around the bucket would prove to be fruitless though for the most part as the Mustangs hit on only 2/7 to start the period. With no free throw attempts to speak of either, only a late 3/3 performance by Hink pulled the Mustangs out of their only deficit of the game at 16-15. A late giveaway with under a minute to go provided Jefferson City with an opportunity to take advantage of a Mustang defensive breakdown just before the buzzer and at halftime, the Jays trailed it 21-20.
The third was nip and tuck again for the first half of the period. A putback by Hink to open things gave MHS a three-point advantage early. Gerrity broke the three-point slump with a long bomb from the right wing a couple of possessions later. With the game very much up in the air and the Mustangs leading it 31-30, Marquette made their move. A 9-0 run highlighted by a strong Hink spin and hook shot and consecutive daggers from 20+ feet by Gerrity (Brooks would come back from a slow first half to nail four treys in the second half) and Sam Ploeger gave the home team some breathing room leading it 39-31 heading into the final quarter.
Two programs prideful of their defensive/possession style of ball opened things up substantially in the fourth. The Mustangs would put a 28-spot on the board in the final quarter (to 23 for the Jays). Every time Marquette would seem to be pulling away, Jefferson City would close. In particular, a 5-0 run in less than five seconds off less-than-stellar Mustang ballhandling brought JC to within eight with less than three minutes remaining. Gerrity and Ploeger though nailed three more threes (two for Brooks and one for Sam) late and coupled with an amazing 15/15 performance from the charity stripe by the Mustangs in the fourth quarter were more than enough to stretch the lead back out and account for the final 13-point victory.
Suburban West Conference play beckons after a three-week break. Marquette will travel to Eureka on Tuesday, February 5 for a 7pm tip-off against the Wildcats.
Leading Scorers: Brooks Gerrity-22, Matt Hink-21, Dillon Jones-9. Leading Rebounders: Hink-7, John Conlon-5, Jones-5. Leading Assists: Jones-5, Gerrity-3. HARD HAT AWARD WINNER: Brooks Gerrity
For video highlights of tonight's Special Olympics exhibition-click HERE
For game stats-click HERE
For video highlights-click HERE
For prepcasts.com broadcast of the game-click HERE