The Louisville hangover lasted 13 minutes. At 7:14 during the Marquette/Nova matchup, a loud siren went off in the Bradley Center, warning the Warriors their season was going to end nasty, brutish, and short.
After playing sluggish, MU was down 9 and must have had the entire season flashing before their eyes. It could have gotten very ugly in the Bradley Center.
Then Lazar Hayward decided to take control.
His 3 pointer with 6:21 to go in the first half brought the Bradley Center faithful to their feet, and with inspired play, MU kept everyone standing and screaming. With a enormous defensive intensity and some hot shooting by Lazar, MU went on a 14-5 tear to tie the game at half. The season was on the line, and they answered.
Lazar finished with 18 points in 28 minutes, a good sign of things to come for the freshman. The game was a foul fest, with the whistle blowing a whopping 54 times. If you drive by the Bradley Center right now, you can still hear the echos.
After poor FT shooting led to a loss on Saturday, tonight was a different story. MU attempted 35 and made 31 for an 89% triumph at the line. -- Where that FT shooting form was on Saturday, I know not. -- Matthews himself went 12-12, and is shooting them at a 91% clip over the past 9 games. Most importantly, MU made all 11 of its attempts in the final 90 seconds. WHEW!
I can tell you first hand. This was way better than losing. Way better.
Go Marquette Recap
Official Box Score
Todd Rosiak recaps the MU victory.
VillanovaViewpoint provides an excellent recap.
Andrew Sharos at MarquetteHoops recaps the slump buster.
Philly.com on the Wildcats coughing up a 9 point first half lead.
Another recap from Philly.com -- this on the Wildcats offensive woes. BTW, sounds like Jay Wright was impressed with MU's offense last night.
"We don't have a rhythm," Wright said. "We're not comfortable to know where everybody is, where the next guy is on the next pass. [The Golden Eagles], they drive, extra pass, extra pass, extra pass, shot. We're still drive, extra pass, shot. It's just playing together and having a feeling for each other."GAME PHOTOS HERE
I'm not sure if it was the whole "winning" thing, or if I had the right touch tonight, but I think these photos are the best I've taken all year. Enjoy.
ON TO NOTRE DAME!
Monday, February 19, 2007