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Mustangs Move into Finals at Eldon

February 2, 2014
By Kevin Schultz of Marquette Mustang Basketball



Mustangs Move into Finals at Eldon

Hot Shooting, Hustle Plays, Rebounding, and Clutch Free-Throws Give Mustangs Birth in Championship Game

In the 83rd annual Eldon Tournament semi-final matchup of two St. Louis area teams, both O’Fallon Christian and Marquette brought their long-range shooting attack to the floor as tonight’s game featured two of the area’s leading 3-point shooters.  But Marquette brought a little more than just their marksmanship.  The Mustangs gathered loose ball after loose ball and outrebounded O’Fallon Christian 30-14 to earn a 4th-straight birth to the championship game of the Eldon Tournament.

The hot shooting began immediately from the tip as O’Fallon jumped out to an early lead on 2 quick treys, 6-0.  Marquette would hit a 3 of their own to get on the board, and the shooting attack was on.  A hot quarter for both teams made everyone in attendance wonder if any team could get a stop on the defensive side of the floor.  After 1 quarter of play, O’Fallon Christian led 20-17.  The second quarter belonged to Marquette as the Mustangs would do a much better job of identifying shooters in transition and getting to them quickly, arguably leading to Marquette’s best quarter of basketball yet this year.  The Mustangs would outscore the opponent 21-6 in the frame and claim a 38-26 advantage at the half.

O’Fallon would come out on fire to start the 2nd half, though, hitting back-to-back treys and cutting the Marquette lead from 12 to 6 in a matter of seconds.  The shooting seemed to cool off a little for the Mustangs in the 3rd quarter, but 3 offensive rebounds gave the Mustangs new life.  The highlight of the quarter came when the Mustangs would gather two offensive rebounds in the same possession and find the open teammate on the right wing to bury the 3-point shot, giving Marquette another basket off important hustle plays (which seemed to be a theme for the night).  Although O’Fallon would come as close as 4 points, the Mustangs would answer the challenge with a dagger and push the lead back up to 10.  Eventually, O’Fallon would have to foul, and one Mustang after another would step to the line and sink free-throw after free-throw.  Marquette would finish the night 21-23 from the charity stripe, going 12-13 in the 4th quarter.  An 18-13 scoring advantage in the 4th quarter for Marquette sent the Mustangs into Saturday’s championship game with a 71-56 victory.

Marquette will play the winner of the Columbia Battle/Sedalia Smith Cotton game at 7:00 for the Eldon Tournament Championship.

Hard Hat Winner: Sean McCracken

For Game Stats, Click HERE.

Game Highlights, Click HERE.


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