Wisconsin 49 Marquette 38

Marquette had to endure one more Luke Fischer-less frontcourt, and the result was a tough one to swallow. Rival Wisconsin got back on track after a home loss to Duke Wednesday night with a sloppy 49-38 victory in front of a raucous BMO Harris Bradley Center crowd. Despite playing its best game of the year on defense, Marquette shot an atrocious 28.9 percent from the field.

Graduate senior Matt Carlino led all scorers with 18 points, including three 3-pointers, while committing five turnovers. No other Golden Eagle scored in double digits, as redshirt freshman Duane Wilson, who’d been so pivotal in wins over Georgia Tech and Tennessee in Orlando, went 1-for-9 from the field. Senior captain Juan Anderson at least countered a 1-for-7 performance with 10 rebounds, but aside from Carlino, the starters combined for just 12 points over a combined 135 minutes of playing time.

Sophomore Deonte Burton played just 11 minutes, but made an impact late in the game connecting on his lone field goal, a 3-pointer to bring Marquette within four points. After a pair of free throws from freshman Sandy Cohen III cut the Wisconsin lead to two points, the Badgers finished the game on a 14-5 run.

The Golden Eagles missed nine of their last 10 field goals and turned the ball over three times in the final 7:53 of the contest. The drought mirrored a 7:11 stretch in the first half in which Marquette missed nine straight field goals after pulling to within two points of the lead.

[Frank Kaminsky dominated the middle with 15 pts/10 rebs]

While senior Frank Kaminsky paced Bucky with 15 points, each of senior Josh Gasser’s four 3-pointers were backbreakers for the Golden Eagles’ momentum. Kaminsky and Nigel Hayes combined for 19 boards as the Badgers outrebounded Marquette 41-28 (14-5 on the offensive glass).

The Golden Eagles’ transition game was practically nonexistent, and their shot selection at times was nothing short of atrocious. Jumpers were passed up for ill-advised drives against a superior defensive frontcourt. When it did work the ball around, Marquette had a hard time finding the open shot, settling for desperation heaves as the shot clock wound down.

Wisconsin shot just 33.3 percent from the field in the first 20 minutes, but the home team did little to punish the Badgers, knocking down just six of its first 21 field goals. After a Marquette rally cut the Badger lead to four, back-to-back Carlino turnovers led to back-to-back Gasser 3-pointers quickly pushing momentum back in Wisconsin’s favor heading into halftime.

The Golden Eagles started the second half on a 7-0 run, capped by an Anderson three off a nice, well-designed feed from Carlino. The run ended abruptly the following possession when the Badgers pulled down three straight offensive rebounds and Gasser knocked down his third 3-pointer.

While the loss represented a satisfying performance against a much higher ranked opponent, Marquette may have had a real chance to turn some heads had it played a more sound, less hectic offensive game.

On the bright side for the Golden Eagles, they should continue to build on another tough, respectable showing, and the arrival of Fischer should provide a much-needed boost to the frontcourt in their next game against Arizona State.

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