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Mustang Bench Saves the Day in Conference Opener
January 7, 2011Marquette Mustang Basketball
The game early on looked to be a Marquette runaway. Coming off a 10-day break since playing at the Meramec Tourney, Lindbergh's rust combined with an unusually good offensive start by the Mustangs on this night made it look like it might be an easy night for the home team. Ryan Rosburg converted on the first possession from a Zack Ploeger feed. Moments later, threes by Mitch Cox and Ploeger upped the Mustang lead to 9-0 (with a Matt Hink free throw toss included). Two more buckets by Rosburg after Lindbergh finally broke through on the scoreboard ended the opening quarter with a 13-7 lead.
The first three minutes of the second half were lackadaisical at best for the Mustangs. Lindbergh took full advantage of a cold-shooting and poorly-positioned defensive squad in MHS. By the time the Flyers had finished off a four-minute stretch of the game going back to the closing minute of the second quarter, they had gone on a 16-0 run to take a 27-18 lead. It was at that juncture that the Marquette bench made what was one of the most dramatic and exciting comebacks ever to be seen on the Marquette Athletic Complex floor. Senior Lanard Williams, juniors Ryan Marks, Jordan Singer, and Alex Winter and with sophomore Chris Lenzen taking the floor, the game was at a crossroads. Would the home team lay down and continue what had become a three-game losing streak or would the Mustangs make a stand? The answer was quickly learned...
Over the course of the final five minutes of the third quarter encompassing nine possessions, the invigorated Mustangs tallied seven buckets including two lay-ins by Winter, three-pointers by Singer and Lenzen and slick drives to the hoop by Williams to bookend the run on both ends. After giving up a 16-0 run to fall back by nine, the bench totally changed the game around with an immediate 15-2 run to go up 32-29. By the time the third ended, MHS led it 36-31.
Long-distance shooting to complement a strong inside game had been a thorn in the Mustangs' side all year but the fourth maybe indicated that it could instead be a strength. Jordan Singer hit on a three-pointer to get the Mustang lead to eight early in the fourth. That was quickly followed up by a Lenzen trey to increase the lead to nine. After a Ploeger drive and dipsy-doo in the paint, Lenzen hit his third of the game and second of the quarter from long-distance to push the lead to double-digits. A 6/8 performance from the line down the stretch preserved a Suburban West win for Marquette over a much-improved Lindbergh team from a year ago.
The Mustangs are off until Tuesday, January 11 when they will head back into non-conference action with another home game, this time versus Parkway North at 7pm.
Leading Scorers: Chris Lenzen-10, Zack Ploeger-9, Ryan Rosburg-9, Mitch Cox-7, Jordan Singer-6. Leading Rebounders: Rosburg-7. Leading Assists: Lenzen-4, Ryan Marks-3, Garrett Roberts-3. HARD HAT AWARD WINNER: Lanard Williams
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