Buckeyes Snap Marquette's 27-Game Home Streak

At its true core, basketball is a very simple game. Shoot a ball into a hoop and get two or three points. The Marquette Golden Eagles struggled to achieve this task with any regularity on Saturday afternoon in a 52-35 drubbing at the hands of the tenth ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. The Golden Eagles shot just 18.9 percent from the floor in their first loss at the BMO Harris Bradley Center since

Dec. 29, 2011 against the Vanderbilt Commodores.

The first half consisted of stingy defense and plenty of missed shots as the two squads combined to shoot just 23.6 percent from the floor and when the buzzer sounded, the game was tied at 19.

Chris Otule netted the first basket of the second half, giving Marquette a 21-19 advantage 14 seconds into the frame, but it was the last lead Marquette possessed for the rest of the game. A jumper from Ohio State's Amir Williams spurred the Buckeyes on a 12-2 run that they would never look back on.

"We made some shots and Marquette didn't," Buckeyes' head coach Thad Matta said. "I think the key that ignited that stretch was our defense, we got some easy looks off of our defense."

"Eventually, it's got to go in the basket. Look at Marquette, some of the shots they had at point blank that rolled around. It was just one of those days. Fortunately for us we had that run and it was probably the difference in the game."

21 of Marquette's 35 points came from Todd Mayo and Davante Gardner, while the rest of Marquette's roster couldn't find any sort of rhythm. Jamil Wilson was held to just three points and missed eight of his nine shots. Jake Thomas missed all six three-point shots he attempted and even though Mayo was the leading scorer, his desire to create some sort of potency back-fired, resulting in a 3-for-15 performance from the floor.

Head coach Buzz Williams gave credit to Ohio State's effort, but said his team's immobility and lack of transition offense was a big reason for the defeat.

"The ball was too stagnant," Williams said. "We weren't able to create angles off of penetration or quick ball and body movement. It was more station-to-station passing. We were never able to attack."

The transition game was the difference-maker, as Ohio State scored 16 fast break points to Marquette's zero. The Buckeyes caught the Golden Eagles off-guard with their fast play and forced Marquette into sloppy defensive miscues in the early part of the second half.

Derrick Wilson logged 38 minutes on Saturday, but didn't have much of an impact in the game. Wilson had three points and shot 1-for-7 from the floor with two turnovers and an assist. Aaron Craft not only prevented Wilson from scoring, but also stopped him from creating plays for his teammates.

"It (the loss) hurts a lot," Wilson said. "We need to find a way to come out stronger in the second half, we were way too flat and they started getting way too many transition baskets in a row."

Williams said Wilson shouldn't be seen as the scapegoat and added that all of his guards struggled against Ohio State's defense.

"You can't just put it all on Derrick," Williams said. "We have a point guard, but he's not always the one initiating the offense."

Despite losing by 17, Marquette's defense was stout for much of the game. The Golden Eagles held the Buckeyes to just 42.3 percent from the floor, limiting leading scorers Sam Thompson and Lenzelle Smith Jr. to a combined 20 points.

One of the main storylines going into the 2013-14 campaign was how Marquette would replace Junior Cadougan and Vander Blue on its backcourt. If Saturday tells us anything, it is that the Golden Eagles still have an unsolved mystery on the outside.

Derrick Wilson, Mayo and Thomas, who each logged at least 29 minutes, went combined 4-for-29 from the floor, or 13.7 percent. Wilson took a career-high seven shots on Saturday and said he must continue to be more assertive in order to make plays for his teammates.

"I'm trying to be more of a threat on the offensive end to help other people and to open up the floor for other people," Wilson said.

The end of a winning streak that lasted almost two years is a tough pill to swallow, but Williams said he doesn't feel sorry for himself or his team.

"They beat us straight-up at home in front of a sell-out crowd. We deserved to lose and I think in life you get what you deserve."

Marquette will get its first chance to bounce back on Thursday night as the Golden Eagles take on New Hampshire at the Bradley Center before hitting the road to face Arizona State and play in the Wooden Legacy Classic over the Thanksgiving holiday.

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