Ugly Birds

Golden Eagles give up 26 offensive rebounds and turn the ball over 26 times in 84-71 loss.

NEW YORK—Louisville forced Marquette into season-high 26 turnovers, and controlled the entire game against the Golden Eagles, winning 84-71.

As in their first match-up back in January, Louisville got out to a big lead early on. After Chane Behanan's jumper, the Cardinals led 21-6 only 6:01 into the game.

The Golden Eagles got the game back to one point at 34-33, and had a chance to take the lead. Junior Cadougan missed a three-pointer, which led to a quick 8-0 Louisville run. It was never close after that.

Cadougan played his worst game of the year, with eight turnovers on the night, and seven in the first half, playing his worst game of the season by far.

"I just wasn't myself today," Cadougan said. "I disappointed my team by having so many turnovers. I didn't run the game at all. The reason we lost was my fault."

Because of that, Williams chose to take the blunt of the blame after the game, saying the team's deficiencies during the game were his fault.

"I did a really bad job," Williams said. "If your team has 26 turnovers, which is the most during my tenure as head coach, and if your team allows 26 offensive rebounds, which is the most it's allowed since I've been the head coach, it's on the head coach."

Marquette got within 6 in the second half, but never stood a chance. The Cardinals completely controlled the game, and did so playing an up-tempo game, one that the Golden Eagles usually prefer to play. That didn't even help, as nothing went right for Marquette.

"It just wasn't flowing today," Cadougan said. "Our rhythm. Our pace. Our purpose. They took advantage."

Louisville is known for its intense press and athleticism, so energy like that shouldn't be a surprise to their opponents. But, it was on a different level tonight.

Senior Darius Johnson-Odom, who had a game-high 24 points on the night, knew Louisville was going to press and apply a lot of pressure, but not like that.

"I didn't think it was going to be at a high level like that," Johnson-Odom said. "That's why I think a lot of guys, including myself, we didn't get to spots like we were supposed to, and it caused a lot of tension on ourselves and a lot of stress on ourselves.

Williams has said many times throughout the year the Golden Eagles' offense feeds off their defense. By creating turnovers and fast breaking, Marquette has been able to lead to Big East in scoring this year.

That is exactly what Louisville did, and they dominated proceedings. The only reason the outcome wasn't more than 13 was the Cardinals' 37.7% mark from the field. Still, Buzz Williams acknowledged their opponent's strengths.

"That's what they feed off of is points from their pressure, points from transition, points off offensive rebounds," Williams said.

"I'm not sure that they've had a better meal all year long than what we served them tonight."

The Golden Eagles will have to wait until Sunday to find out when their next game is, and where it will be. Their next stop is the NCAA Tournament.

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