HoopCap: Badgers Big Run Buries Marquette
There’s always a great excitement to Wisconsin-Marquette inside the arena. It’s buzzing with excitement. People are trying to start chants for both teams, and there are cheers for every basket. I liked the first half much better than the second half. Wisconsin rolled with another big second half performance that included a game-changing run winning the game, 93-84.
This game turned when Wisconsin found fire in the second half. Marquette led by one, 47-46, before Wisconsin overpowered them with a 16-0 run that couldn’t be stopped by Marquette. During that stretch, Golden Eagles had three turnovers and went 0-for-6 from the field. Badgers kept attacking the basket with a good blend of inside-out basketball. Marquette needs to find a way to slow down those kind of runs in the future because they won’t win games this way.
Ethan Happ, difference maker
The biggest reason Marquette jumped out to a five point lead at half was Ethan Happ had two fouls in two minutes. Happ rode pine for 18 minutes of the 20-minute half. Once Happ came back in the game, he wrecked the inside of the paint. He finished with 11 points and five rebounds. What doesn’t show up are the screens. He’s a great screener. It’s not always the cleanest, but it looks clean enough that officials don’t notice some movement. It’s a very veteran thing for Happ to do. This also really helps Wisconsin’s offense create some rhythm.
Markus Howard is becoming a star
It’s hard to believe that Markus Howard is the ripe age of 17. What were you doing at 17? Me, I was trying not get caught looking at porn and sneaking around drinking Miller High Life’s. Howard is playing grown man basketball. He had a season-high 22 points going 6-for-12 from the field and making some great plays. The best probably happened when he skied over Nigel Hayes for a rebound then went all the way to the bucket for a made layup and foul.
Katin Reinhardt shows up
Oh my lucky stars, look who decided to play basketball. Katin Reinhardt played a large part in why Marquette held a first half lead. Reinhardt found his stroke from deep and helped push Golden Eagles’ lead out to five points. He cooled off a bit in the second half, but it’s still good to see him find his shot after a heap of criticism. Reinhardt’s offense doesn’t translate to his defense though. Hayes took him to school consistently in the second half, and that’s one of the reasons Wisconsin was able to hold off Marquette.
Khalil Iverson gives Gard big minutes
We’ve talked in Badger recaps about how Wisconsin needs one guy to be the man off the bench. It doesn’t have to be the same player, but they should routinely get one player off the bench scoring double-figures. With a short bench, Khalil Iverson became that guy scoring a season-high 16 points. Iverson picked up the slate for Happ in the first half. Further, Golden Eagles putrid pick-and-roll defense played right into Iverson’s game. He had so many easy dunks.
Box score doesn’t tell the Haanif Cheatham story
Looking at the box score, I’m amazed at Haanif Cheatham’s line of 16 points and eight rebounds. It didn’t feel like he had that many points. Cheatham struggled from the field with some ill-timed shots and looked less confidence than we saw him in the last two years. Cheatham struggled in the past few games for Marquette. Not sure if he’s having trouble adjusting to Howard’s takeover or it’s something else, but let’s hope Cheatham gets right for the Big East season.
Man, the ‘Little brother’ comments sure make it seem like it’s a rivalry
If you read this regularly, I wrote a post about how this rivalry exists despite what Wisconsin players and writers say leading up to the game. Hayes said in a one stream of consciousness, the ‘Rivalry doesn’t mean much’ to calling Marquette ‘little brother.’ The latter is fine and that makes a rivalry fun. Don’t say this game means little to you and slight Marquette in the same sentence. It obviously fucking matters, and you’re trying to deflect for some odd reason. “Little brother” comments are annoying, but I said this would happen with Wisconsin making two Final Fours combined with Marquette’s lack of success of late. I’m not shocked.
Players of the Game:
Happ (Wisconsin)/Howard (Marquette): We talked about both above
Wisconsin goes for the state sweep when they play UW-Green Bay at home on Tuesday night. Marquette gets a week off for finals before welcoming St. Francis (PA) to the Bradley Center next Monday night.