Junior Jerel McNeal led the Golden Eagles with 16 points, 6 rebs but had 7 turnovers with only one assist. Jr Wesley Matthews added 14 points, but Marquette shot just 30 percent from the field and ended up with just 2 total team assists. Jr PG Dominic James scored three points before injuring his right wrist late in the second half drive to the lane.
The Cardinals game plan was to pass inside to a posting Padgett who returned after suffering a fractured kneecap in November. Padgett was the key to the game, making 8 of 9 FGs, many on pick and roll moves Tom Crean admitted that MU had no answer for Padgett.
"We did not execute our pick and roll defense. Crean said. "There was no excuse for our lack of physical play inside. We never stepped up to the challenge of guarding him. You have to have better rotation on the bottom with the posts. We did not play the ball tonite.
Louisville broke it open with a 12-0 run early in the second half after Marquette cut it to 30-26 on a three point play by Wes Matthews. Jerel McNeal got hot and MU made a late run to cut it to 50-40 with eight minutes left but the Cardinals put the game away with a 10-0 run.
"We played better in the second half,' Crean said," but you do not win when you are out rebounded by 13. We had only 33 deflections."