MILWAUKEE – In their first exhibition game of the 2008-09 season, Marquette shot over 50 percent from the field in a 94-73 victory over Colorado State-Pueblo. They recorded assists on 28 of their 34 field goals. Lazar Hayward had a double-double with seven minutes to go in the game, and three other Golden Eagles scored in double figures.
One would think the team would be pleased with an outcome like that.
They'd be wrong.
"We're disappointed in ourselves," said senior guard Wes Matthews. "There were times we turned it on and times we shut down and seemed like two completely different teams."
Inconsistent play dogged Marquette on both ends of the floor. They committed 14 turnovers on offense and allowed the Thunderwolves to shoot 41.4 percent from three-point range (12-of-29) on the other end.
"Discipline – that's going to be our biggest thing," Matthews said. "That's what we hold our hat on, but it wasn't evident today. That going to have to change."
The final outcome was never in doubt for the Golden Eagles. After they opened on an 8-0 run, CSU-Pueblo never came within more than five points of the lead. Marquette used a 14-5 run just after halftime to extend their lead to 65-44, and their largest margin was 27 points with 1:56 left in regulation.
Lazar Hayward was very efficient in the first half with 13 points and four rebounds in 11 minutes. However, Hayward also picked up his second foul with 8:43 left in the first half. Just over three minutes later, both Acker and Butler collected their second fouls.
"When you're suiting up nine scholarship players and you have 3 guys on the bench with 2 fouls in the first half that's not good," said head coach Buzz Williams. "The cause and effect on those other six guys is that their minutes are driven up, and now they can't foul either. We've got to learn to play without fouling. We cannot give teams free points without the clock running."
Freshman Chris Otule also fouled out in his first collegiate game after seeing 15 minutes of action.
"We had scripted out what I would have liked the minutes to be for the purpose of combinations of different guys," Williams said. "But when you get in foul trouble, that sheet that it took me days to figure out – that's out."
Marquette's starters certainly carried the scoring load. Hayward finished the game with 23 points and 13 rebounds. Jerel McNeal had 22 points and six assists. Matthews and Dominic James were Marquette's other double-digit scorers.
For the Thunderwolves, Rome Smith led the way with 14 points on 6-of-17.
So what positives will the Golden Eagles be taking away from this contest?
"The fact that we're mad," said Matthews. "I think that's the biggest sign of a team that wants to be great. We got out and scored  points, had some lobs and some good plays, and we get in the locker room and we're p***ed off."
The Golden Eagles open the regular season against Houston Baptist on Friday.
Alex Jesswein is a freshman majoring in finance.
Jeff Wolf is the chief editor of MarquetteHoops.com. He is a junior majoring in advertising.