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Eureka Outplays Marquette Early and Late for Victory
February 5, 2013Marquette Mustang Basketball
In what was one of the most, to put it kindly, auspicious beginnings in years for the Mustangs tonight in Eureka; solid play in the middle two quarters was almost enough to pull off a win that would’ve been improbable. Unfortunately, the Wildcats regrouped late and were the better team down the stretch in a 47-41 Suburban West win over Marquette.
The opening quarter was a disaster for the visitors. With Eureka up 10-1, the fatal cause would point to missing shots that had been finding net as of late for the Mustangs. However, six turnovers in seven possessions (several of which were simple inbounds passes directly to the team in white), resulted in a 17-1 Eureka advantage and wholesale substitutions for MHS. With a totally different five wrapping up the final 2:30 of the opening period, the Wildcats would slow down a bit but still lead it 20-1 against usually sure-handed Mustang squad which ended the quarter with TEN TIMES as many turnovers as points.
As unusual as the poor play in the first quarter was for Marquette, the turnaround was even more dramatic in the second. A Mustang squad which ended the first 8:00 with no field goals and obviously no assists were a completely different team coming out for the new stanza. Matt Hink knocked down an inside jumper, Brooks Gerrity nailed a three and Dillon Jones converted an offensive putback to open the proceedings. The next five possessions featured a Chris Lenzen trey (Chris returned from a foot injury that had held him out the past week), a Tanner Stabenow lay-in, another Hink post-up, a Gerrity three and one final Hink lay-up. The final seven buckets in an eight possession stretch which resulted in 19 points were the result of seven assists from a team which had found itself. A last-second look that would’ve given Marquette the lead just missed and a half of change had ended with Marquette trailing 23-22 after turning the ball over exactly ZERO times in the second quarter.
A Mustang offense that was the model of efficiency in the second quarter was back to its first quarter self early on in the third. After a Matt Hink bucket to give Marquette its first lead of the game, the team would go on to shoot just 1/7 the rest of the quarter with five free throws only to save itself. A key point in the game occurred about halfway through the quarter. With a five-point lead and the ball and playing well, the Mustangs took an ill-advised shot which caromed long and resulted in a Eureka run-out. A potential seven or eight-point lead became three and the game was on Several good looks would just not drop as the shooting stats told a story of the ballgame: While MHS shot 8/15 from the floor in the second quarter, the rest of the game was another story. The Mustangs were only able to convert on SIX OF THIRTY-ONE shots the other three quarters. Even with that, Eureka had to connect just before the buzzer on a three to tie the ballgame at 31-31 heading into the fourth.
The Mustangs missed their first five shots of the last quarter (three of which came from close range off offensive boards). A Marquette story the past couple of weeks was one of grabbing the lead late, forcing fouls and nailing down games from the free throw line. That was not happening on this evening though as Marquette could not hit on several close-in shots or draw fouls and the Wildcats slowly stretched out a three-point lead (which Marquette could have closed to one with a one-and-one opportunity) to gain the six-point conference win.
Suburban West play is all the rage from here on out as the Mustangs will host Lafayette Friday night, February 8 at 7pm following a girls varsity game beforehand.
Leading Scorers: Matt Hink-17, Brooks Gerrity-9, Dillon Jones-8. Leading Rebounders: Four tied with 5. Leading Assists: Chris Lenzen-5, Tanner Stabenow-4.
For game stats-click HERE