[Luke Fischer had 7 pts, 5 rebs, 3 blocks vs Xavier]
Here are my 3 thoughts from Marquette/Xavier:
Early Second Half Blues
Marquette has had a lot of trouble starting off the second half for most of this season and Tuesday night was no exception. After going in the locker room down just three, Xavier was able to push their advantage to 11 in a matter of minutes. The question is why? Unfortunately for Marquette fans, the answer lies in the numbers of players available for Steve Wojciechowski. Simply put, when teams lack a full bench halftime is how the players catch their breath. With limited reinforcements, there are no guys fresh to come in if a key contributor is struggling at the early stages of the final 15. When a team only has seven or eight guys it is impossible to put together complete games.
If You Can’t Score You Can’t Win
Without Carlino, Marquette has no one that can score in volumes. It is hard to watch this team night in and night out and see a guy that can carry load. Even BYU transfer Matt Carlino has had games where he was less than reliable. On Tuesday, it was even harder to look at this team and see a guy who could but the team on his back. Luke Fischer stepped up early, but disappear as the game progressed. JaJuan Johnson has the ability to drive to the basket, but seems to be missing the final touch that could make a key offensive contributor. Duane Wilson could be that guy, but has yet to show he could go for 25 a night, despite showing flashes of potential all season. This leaves Juan Anderson, who reached the 200-point club in the team’s last home game, once again finished in double figures. Say what you want about his overall production, the Oakland native may just be Marquette most consistent player.
Due to Marquette’s size, or lack thereof, the team has lost the battle on the boards consistently. This disadvantage has been seen most notably on the offensive end. Tuesday night Xavier extended countless possessions by grabbing boards and forcing mistakes. The Musketeers had14 points off turnovers and 12-second chance points. While some of the turnovers can be blamed by sloppy ball handling by Marquette, many of these were pure hustle plays by Xavier. Most games the Golden Eagles have been able to out tough and out hustle the opposition. Tuesday it was a toss up, with the slight edge going to the Musketeers.