"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

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Marquette blows 17 point second half lead to lose Old Spice Classic

Marquette had a golden opportunity to secure the Old Spice Classic in Orlando tonight as they faced the 5-1 Seminoles of Florida State. MU dominated much of the game leading by 12 at halftime and as many as 17 points in the second half.

With under 10 minutes to play, MU still held a double digit lead when the wheels began coming off. Over the course of the next 8 minutes, MU would score just 6 points while bricking free throws, layups, and 3 point shots. FSU tied the game at 48-48 with 3:51 remaining.

Lazar Hayward gave the Golden Eagles a lead again with a jump shot near the free throw line only to have FSU tie it with a tip in. MU surged ahead again with under two minutes to play on a Darius Johnson-Odom layup....the lead was short lived as an FSU three pointer gave the Seminoles their first lead since the early minutes of the first half.

The last minute became a back and forth affair with both teams hitting shots to put their clubs ahead. Senior Mo Acker drove for a layup putting MU up 54-53 with just over a minute to play. FSU answered with a 2 point jumper with 56 seconds to go. After a Buzz Williams timeout, Mo Acker found senior Lazar Hayward for another jumper giving MU a 1 point lead with 32 seconds remaining.

FSU decided to go down low again to Solomon Alabi for a third straight possession while MU chose not to double the post. Alabi spun toward the baseline and hit a short jumper to put FSU up for good at 57-56 with 12 seconds remaining.

After a FSU timeout, MU had a chance to go for the winning shot. Acker brought the ball up and passed to Johnson-Odom who came across the lane and threw an errant pass to high which went out of bounds.

With 3 seconds left, Buzz put Mbao on the inbound passer and it almost worked. Johnson-Odom stole the ball but fell out of bounds. FSU then threw a home run ball that MU also stole with 1 second left but Buzz Williams request for a timeout was not granted while Hayward threw up a desperation shot.

MU lost 57-56. A missed golden opportunity with the game well in hand. Tough to get greedy since very few expected MU to even be playing for the championship tonight, but this is a game they should have won.

The Golden Eagles shot poorly everywhere tonight. Only 52.6% from the free throw line, less than 40% from the field and only 22% from beyond the arc. Fatigue looked to play an important part of MU's shooting woes. The last 10 minutes of the game, MU looked beat. Buzz went with basically a 6 man lineup plus a few token minutes for Maymon and Fulce.

ESPN Recap



Gene Frenkle said...

Free throws. Being gassed. Buzz taking the foot off the gas (partly due to being out of gas). And just not hitting shots. Oh well, games like this every year...but coulda/shoulda/woulda tonight. Un-Jimmy-like going 4-12 from the charity stripe with most misses short.

Smoove said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Smoove said...

With a high octane offense and little extra supply in pit row, becoming gassed is more than predictable, it is a veritable certainty. So, what is the coaching antidote for being "gassed"? A timely switch to a Princeton-style four-corners offense? Maybe. Even though running on fumes, MU did own a second-half 17-point lead. What MU did not appear to have was any discernable strategy to bring it across the finish line from there. There are enough "my bads" to go around, but they should start with this apparent coaching failure.

Unknown said...

Does Marquette always seem to blow it in the less seconds with bone headed plays? You drive to the hoop, you hope to get fouled! You DO NOT kick it out and throw it over someone's head. I'll chalk it up to the kids being young, but this was a W in the bag. I cannot believe I am already so sick this early in the season. Keep a lead and get the W, damn it.

Unknown said...

I agree on Lazar and Jimmy being gased. In my opinion, Fulce and Maymon should of been rotated in and out more. Keep enough scoring power on the floor and always keep either Lazar or Jimmy in when Fulce or Maymon come in to keep the level of play from taking a drop. Regardless, I am proud of Marquette the entire tournament. Look forward to the NC State game.

Smoove said...

Respectfully, at the highest levels, rotating with Fulce and Maymon won't be enough. MU needs a slow game to complement its fast game, such that each possession MU presents things the deep but not-as-quick elite teams cannot easily match. Just as MU's speed and athleticism gives The Opposition fits in the up-tempo game, that same agility allows our guys to downshift to a slow game when a respite is needed. When the idea is to keep The Opposition off-balance and outside its comfort zone, too slow can serve that purpose while our men are catching breath and killing clock.

Unknown said...

Sounds interesting in concept and may even work in the right situation and against the right team. However, I cannot recall Marquette in the last five years coming from behind to win like that or keep an extended lead and not have the lead dwindle to a nail biter. I say while Fulce and Maymon may not have the experience now, they need the experience. We can't play 6 people and realistically think we will win against talented teams especially at tournament time.