"It was exciting, but the feeling of disappointment is so much stronger right now," said a dejected David Cubillan. The freshmen scored 9 points of 3-8 shooting. "Things didn't go our way, and we didn't do what we do."
For Ousmane Barro, words were even harder to find.
"It's always frustrating, especially when they make some of the shots that they did," said Barro, who couldn't find one positive to take from the loss. "The NCAA is an amazing atmosphere, but it is only good when you win. When you lose, it's not that great."
Marquette coach Tom Crean likened the loss to the feeling of getting punched in the stomach. Visibly upset, Crean understood what a frustrating game it must have been to watch, especially being down 14-0 to start.
"It wasn't beautiful, but it wasn't like they went away with it," said Crean. "We outscored them 49-47 (after the fourteen point deficit). We were all real confident in our defensive game plan, but when we don't execute we look silly. That that's what happened to us tonight at times."
"We obviously didn't play enough of Marquette basketball," added Dan Fitzgerald. "That is what got us here; we didn't do enough of it and that's disappointing at a time like this in the season."
All they could do is watch as the clock ran down
Just moments after the loss, Dominic James said it hit him already.
"We already realized that we lost," he said. "Any time this ball club takes a loss we take it pretty hard. We wanted to advance further than we did last year."
"We fell short again," added Wesley Matthews. "It was just like last year. We didn't come out in the first half like we should have. We just didn't execute."
Despite what might be viewed as a poor showing, Matthews reiterated how much effort the team game in playing MSU. He particularly singled out James, who worked tirelessly in holding star Spartan guard Drew Neitzel to just 12 points.
"You could just see it in his eyes that he didn't want him to score," said Matthews of James' defense on Neitzel. "He played tough. He played through cramps. He was tired. You could tell. You could feel it. I think he just showed everybody tonight that he's one of the best defenders I have ever seen. We, as a team, just needed to play with that same mentality."
**Andrew Sharos is a senior double majoring in History and Secondary Education and is also the Head Student Writer for MarquetteHoops.com.