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LONG Dry Stretch Broken in Mustang Win Over Lafayette

February 9, 2013
Marquette Mustang Basketball

During one of the most successful seasons in Mustang history way back in 1995-1996, Marquette was on its way to an undefeated conference title slate and a second straight district title when they were able to overcome a Lafayette squad in a late-season battle AT Marquette.  In the 17 seasons since, each and every game contested between the two schools on the MHS hardwood had ended with the higher point tally on the guest side of the scoreboard.  That amazing run of Lafayette dominance at the Marquette Athletic Complex ended tonight with a come-from-behind 40-36 Mustang victory.

The game’s opening minutes were mostly uneventful.  The capacity crowd witnessed Lafayette jump out to a 4-1 lead before Matt Hink went to the line after nailing a turnaround hook shot.  The subsequent free throw went astray and after a run-down Brooks Gerrity nailed a three to give the Mustangs a 6-4 advantage.  (The MHS Stang Gang, which had uncharacteristically sat on their hands to that point re-created the “Silent Night” phenomenon and the building erupted in noise.)  The Lancers though kept their composure.  After a Mustang turnover, Lafayette converted in transition to tie the game.  With a steady effort the rest of the quarter, Lafayette stretched it out and save for a late Matt Hink bucket were able to shut out the Mustangs the rest of the way and led it 15-8 after one.

The Mustangs were able to have their best offensive stretch of the first half to start the second period.  A three by Chris Lenzen and two buckets that lifted his team inside by John Conlon resulted in a 16-15 lead for the Mustangs that marked their last lead of the game until very late.  Unfortunately for MHS, the remainder of the half was barren offensively.  Lafayette would go on a 10-0 run to end the half as Marquette went 0/4 from the field and 0/6 from the free throw line to end the half with the inauspicious statistics of 2/11 from beyond the arc, 2/11 from the free throw stripe and 10 total turnovers as Lafayette led 25-16 after 16:00 of play.

Amazingly enough, Marquette’s second half performance was more than efficient as they scored converted 24 total points in only 21 possessions but they did it on the back of THREE field goals for the entire half.  After going only the aforementioned 2/11 from the charity stripe in the first two quarters, Marquette would shoot 6/7 for the third quarter and coupled with a long Gerrity three and a Dillon Jones driving lay-in through the Lancer defense were able to close the gap.  An 8-0 run to start the third pulled the Mustangs to within a point before the Lancers converted on their end to answer.  The exchange of baskets and more Mustang free throws to end the quarter made it 28-27 in favor of the visitors going into the final quarter of play.

Four more Mustang free throws would open the scoring in the fourth but Lafayette would still lead it 34-32 before Gerrity nailed his last triple with approximately 5:00 to play; this one a long one a couple feet behind the arc in front of his Mustang bench to put the Mustangs up 35-34 and a lead they would not relinquish.  Though the Lancers would cut the lead to a single point twice more before the final horn, strong MHS free throw shooting would close it out.  10/14 from the stripe in the fourth and 16/21 for the second half in total were key as the final four-point advantage wasn’t nailed down until the final 10 ticks left on the clock in what would become Marquette’s fourth conference win against one loss.

A week without games awaits Marquette as they will next take the floor next Friday, February 15 on the road at Mehlville in a 7pm tip-off.

Leading Scorers:  Brooks Gerrity-12, Matt Hink-10, Chris Lenzen-10.  Leading Rebounders:  Hink-11, Gerrity-8, Lenzen-7.  Leading Assists:  two tied with 2.  HARD HAT AWARD WINNER:  John Conlon

For game stats-click HERE

For video highlights-click HERE

For prepcasts.com video broadcast-click HERE

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