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Second Quarter Funk Plagues Mustangs Again
January 2, 2011Marquette Mustang Basketball
After rolling over and not matching the intensity of second-round (Meramec Tourney) opponent DeSmet one night prior, one would assume that Marquette would do everything in its power to avoid yet another small segment of a contest that would spell defeat. Unfortunately, lesson not heeded as ANOTHER poor effort in the second eight-minute frame overshadowed a gallant comeback effort in losing to Troy 48-45.
The opening minutes were positive for Marquette. Matt Hink tallied a lay-in off a Zack Ploeger drive and dish. Hink and Ploeger connected again moments later to give the Mustangs a 4-2 lead. After Rosburg scored off an offensive carom, MHS had its biggest lead of the night at 6-3. Three unforced turnovers in four possessions though allowed the Trojans to make their move and gain a lead they would not relinquish. By the time Jordan Singer grabbed an offensive board of his own to lay it back in, the Mustangs trailed 12-8 at the quarter.
The fateful second period started deceptively well. Senior Lanard Williams continued his fine play off the bench from the previous night by canning a trey to pull his team to within one and a Rosburg lay-in after a Singer board and conversion and dish had Marquette within two at a 14-12 deficit. The bottom dropped out officially on the game for MHS at that point. Over the course of the last 10 trips down the floor in the half, the Mustangs went 0/2 from inside the arc with little or no attempt to penetrate the Trojan defense, 0/3 from beyond the stripe and on a day when the team would commit a more-than-acceptable 11 turnovers, SIX of them came in the latter part of the second period. A 10-0 run during that span gave Troy an in-control 24-13 lead after the horn went off.
While the Mustang offense did perk up in the third, the defense was letting the team down along the way. Second chances via the loose ball pick-up were giving Troy the opportunities they needed to keep Marquette at bay. Though MHS hit on its last four field goal attempts to end the period, Troy was still able to stretch the lead to a comfortable 14 points at 41-27 heading into the final quarter with a trip to the Meramec Holiday Classic 4th Place Game on the line.
A three by Jordan Singer was followed up by a driving lay-in by Chris Lenzen and a slick post-up by Hink. With the lead in single-digits, a sliver of hope was beginning to form for the Mustangs. After Singer was able to convert via a Hink loose ball run-down and a swing pass from Chris Lenzen, the lead was down to six. A couple of Rosburg free throws and a lay-in under pressure by Ryan moved the Trojan advantage to a scant three points. After Singer hit on yet another clutch three moments later, the lead was down had been trimmed to just two. A chance to tie at the free throw line ended in a ½ scenario for the Mustangs and trailing by one, the squad was unable to convert on two good looks, the first of which would have tied and the second to take a lead. Even then, missed free throws by Troy gave the Mustangs an opportunity to dribble the length of the floor with just under five ticks left but a 26-footer clanged off the edge of the rim and the Troy victory was in the books.
The Mustangs long journey to start the season finally ends as they make their home debut at the Marquette Athletic Complex on Tuesday, January 4th as they host the always-tough Statesmen from Webster Groves with a tip-off scheduled for 7pm.
Leading Scorers: Ryan Rosburg-13, Jordan Singer-12. Leading Rebounders: Rosburg-6, Matt Hink-5. Leading Assists: Zack Ploeger-5, Chris Lenzen-5.
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