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3rd Quarter Malaise Proves Costly in Loss to Maplewood
December 10, 2010Marquette Mustang Basketball
In the first-ever meeting between the Mustangs and Maplewood, both teams came out of the gate with a great competitive spirit. This was a game both teams wished had been played at 8:30 tonight in the semi-finals rather than in a rather cozy affair at 4:00 with light shining through the windows at historic Roberts Gymnasium with scant family and friends in attendance. In what the score wouldn't indicate, the teams were nip-and-tuck most of the late afternoon but a key stretch in the third period proved costly in the 50-42 Marquette loss to the Blue Devils.
Great guard play is certainly in the history books for the Mustangs. With all-time MHS great and former SLU Billiken John Redden (Class of '96) sitting on the Maplewood bench in his role as assistant coach, the Marquette squad certainly didn't need to look far for inspiration. Unfortunately, that look didn't occur until late in the opening stanza. Four turnovers and ¼ shooting plagued the opening 4:00 of play as Maplewood rolled out to a 6-2 lead. Consecutive Ryan Rosburg buckets tied the score and by the time sophomore Chris Lenzen had tallied his first trey of the young season and Rosburg had nailed a free throw late, the Mustangs had pulled even at 10-10.
The second quarter proved to be the best for Marquette in this contest. Rosburg went for three buckets and fellow junior forward Alex Winter joined him in the scoring tally with a transition jumper from the mid-baseline. After a Zack Ploeger three-pointer, the Mustangs had stretched the lead to 23-20 before the turnover bug bit again against the pressuring Blue Devil defense. Four straight ballhandling miscues allowed Maplewood to take a 24-23 lead before with just moments left in the half, Mitch Cox ran down a loose ball, outleted to Garrett Roberts who used every bit of the final six ticks before dishing to Rosburg for a buzzer-beating lay-in and a 25-24 halftime lead.
The first half featured 9/19 shooting from the floor including a couple of long-distance threes to enable the Mustangs to lead heading to the locker room. The second half on the other hand saw nothing but the opposite offensively. Marquette would miss its first four shots and six of eight attempts in the third quarter to go along with six turnovers in getting outscored 12-4 and fall behind by seven heading into the fourth.
Only three shots would drop in the fourth as the white-clad MHS squad could only muster five total field goals in the entire second half on 5/19 shooting (0/6 from beyond the arc). Even with that, a Mustang team that was beaten to almost every loose ball a day before against SLUH would battle back. Down six with just over two minutes to go, junior Ryan Marks would convert on a steal and lay-in and was quickly followed by a Rosburg hoop. The 6-9 junior's free throw from the foul on the shot would not drop down though and left the team with a two-point deficit that they could not close any tighter.
A re-match from last year's Webster Classic awaits in tomorrow's 11am tip-off as Marquette takes on Belvidere North from Illinois.
Leading Scorers: Ryan Rosburg-21, Garrett Roberts-7. Leading Rebounders: Alex Winter-7, Roberts-5. Leading Assists: Chris Lenzen-3, Roberts-3.
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