"My rule was I wouldn't recruit a kid if he had grass in front of his house.
That's not my world. My world was a cracked sidewalk." —Al McGuire

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Golden Eagles fall in Overtime to Louisville

Marquette looked sluggish, played sluggish and somehow still had a chance to win this game on the road in Louisville, but in the end MU dropped their final Big East road game 67-60 in Overtime to the Cardinals. MU got to overtime on a 35 foot shot by Dominic James with less than one second to play. A remarkable shot on a night that James struggled with his offense.

Prior to that point MU looked out of sync most of the evening. The Louisville crowd was in rare form as they cheered on their only Senior, Taquan Dean and pushed their team closer to a bid to the Big East tournament. The Cardinals played this game with the desperation required. Without a win tonight, Louisville likely would be out of the Big East tournament. Dean led his team to 19 points including some clutch free throws down the stretch.

MU was led by Steve Novak's 20 points, but they were a quiet 20. At the end of the game he all but disappeared as Louisville clamped down and prevented any open looks. Novak even missed a free throw at an inopportune time. With the Golden Eagles trailing nearly the entire game, at the 10:51 mark Novak hit a three pointer and was fouled. The three pointer put MU up 47-46 for the first time in the game. The ensuing free throw was missed and perhaps the MU players were in shock because we did not score for the next 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Louisville instead reclaimed the lead and held it until the buzzer when James' shot tied the game to send to overtime.

The officiating in the game was beyond bizarre. Poorly called and controversial against both clubs. Late in the game Dominic James grabbed a rebound and on the put back opportunity he was fouled. During the process he was trying to slam the ball and hung on the rim. The ball hit the glass and went through the cylinder while James was still hanging on it, but he did not touch the ball. Originally the basket was called good, but after a huddle it was washed away. James made only 1 of 2 ft's. The Louisville announcers believed it was a poor call.

Equally as troubling was a call at the end of regulation. MU trailed 58-55 with about 4 seconds to play. Louisville was at the line for two free throws. They missed both and on the ensuing rebound Steve Novak horse collared a Louisville player to the ground in what looked like a clear foul in front of the referee. The ball went out of bounds and gave James the chance to take it up court for the miracle 3 pointer. The Louisville fans and Rick Pitino in particular were outraged at the non-call.

MU shot a terrible 53.8% from the charity stripe and only 28% from beyond the arc.

The loss drops MU to 9-6 in the conference and all but eliminates any chance Marquette had at securing a bye in the Big East tournament. Thought a slight chance still exists, it would require both Georgetown and Pittsburgh to lose on Saturday which is unlikely. Up next is Providence for Senior day at the Bradley Center.

On a promising note, Steve Novak broke the Big East record of Ray Allen with the most three pointers made in one season. Novak needed 4 to break the record and he delivered 4 tonight.

Congratulations, Steve!

GAME AUDIO (courtesy of "HatedWarrior - Nathan")

Steve Novak Ties Big East Record (from WISN - Kent Sommerfeld)

Dominic James sends it to OVERTIME (from WISN - Kent Sommerfeld)


Journal-Sentinel Recap

GoMarquette.com recap


AP Story


Ringing Out... said...

What exactly happen there in OT? They looked utterly confused.

Granted, the first foul on Wes - on Dean, was payback for the non-call on Novak pulling Jenkins as the ball scurried out of bounds, but they looked absolutely flat in the OT.

I would've figured that after Dominic's monster shot they'd be a little more fired up.

I don't know if we chalk that up to poor coaching or lack of motivation, but in both cases TC should have had them ready for the extra period.

Anonymous said...

If it were just that easy then no one would lose.

Duke looked flat against Florida State. Texas looked flat against Texas A&M last night as well.

At some point the players have to execute.

Anonymous said...

wow your summary is better than the Journal coverage.

Ringing Out... said...

I hear you, players get the job done, not the coaching staff.

But the five on the floor at the start of OT just weren't firing. Collectively, they were out of sync.

Now, if it were only Wes or Jerel, or even Novak, playing flat-footed, then I see that as a player/players holding back or not giving it 100%.

But the entire team was FLAT. Playing beat. Not necessarily tired, but no fire there.

I'm not trashing the effort, or what TC is capable of - but the UofL game meant a lot. Especially considering the beating they gave us there last year.

I only hope we get a shot at them in the B.East tourney. I highly doubt the outcome would be the same.