The Ups and Downs of Young Teams

Marquette went into halftime against St. John’s down 8 points on Saturday January 9th, 2016. After starting out fast and strong, St. John’s showed they had an outside game and a way to manage Marquette’s ability to get into the paint: force turnovers and, unfortunately, offensive fouls. The later hit Henry Ellenson with about 8 minutes left in the first half, forcing him to sit out until the second half. He had two offensive fouls quickly. It’s a problem that has plagued the freshman All-American since the season started.

“You drill him (in practice) for him to recognize the situation,” said Head Coach Steve Wojociechowski. “In the second half he had a double-double … that’s pretty darn good!”

I want to point out that during the 8 or so minutes Ellenson wasn’t in the game, Freshman Matt Heldt picked-up his game and helped keep Marquette in it. He gets better each time he’s on the court. Something to really watch.

That second half bounce back by Ellenson, as well as double digit scoring from Junior Luke Fischer, Freshman Haanif Cheatham and Freshman Duane Wilson as well as getting to the charity stripe 21 times, proved to be the winning element against St. John’s. 10 of the final points for Marquette came from free-throws where Marquette shot 89% for the game.

Wilson shot 4-9 from well behind the three-point line…even from well behind the NBA mark.

When I asked Wilson if he knew how far back he was when he took the shots: “Not really.”

It was “Al’s Day” for the Golden Eagles and Marquette faithful; a day to honor the legendary Al McGuire. McGuire went to St. John’s for his collegiate career, making the win even more memorable for the Golden Eagles.

Listen to my full report:

Marquette won 81-75 and is now 2-2 in Big East play. This week, they face uphill battles against #6 Villanova Wednesday then #7 Xavier Saturday at home.