Hoopcap: Marquette’s Shooting Stays Hot & Burns Red Storm
Marquette Golden Eagles have been here before. A few days after a big win, and the hangover sets in. St. John’s is a team that beat them earlier this season, but Marquette came in as the favorite. They left that way too with a red-hot shooting performance carries them to a 93-71 victory giving Golden Eagles another big win when it comes to the tournament hopes. Not that this will help them, rather, getting swept by Red Storm would not have looked good. This was an eye-opening game.
What Matt Heldt’s performance means for the remainder of the year
From what you hear around Marquette, Matt Heldt seems like the hardest worker on the team. Maybe, that’s over-the-top, but the guy seems to bust his ass in every practice. Heldt had a breakout game with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Career-highs in both points and rebounds plus his first ever double-double. Heldt provided an interior toughness on defense that Marquette lacks with Luke Fischer. He’s not the best scorer, but the lack of needing the ball actually makes him more attractive of an option for all the shooters. Bet on Steve Wojciechowski riding the hot hand, but Heldt will keep starting until further notice.
Another game, another freshman wall broken
Given their friendship, we should have seen the Sam Hauser three-point barrage coming after his best buddy on the team Markus Howard did the same on Saturday. Hauser went off for 19 points tying a career-high, five threes, a career high, eight rebounds and four steals. This is Hauser’s first double-digit outing since Marquette’s last game versus St. John’s. If the Golden Eagles have Hauser shooting at a high clip for the rest of the year, look out. He has an uncanny way to find his shot and know when he’s hot. The latter happened last night leading to being the difference in the first half.
Turnovers were at a high clip again versus Johnnies.
Marquette had issues with St. John’s the last time out regarding turnovers, and the same happened in this game with a total of 16. That’s a little high for this version of Marquette. Now, you hope this doesn’t carry over, and the good news is there really isn’t much. But what concerns me is that Marquette cannot handle a fast defense where they’re jumping passes, etc. Marquette needs to get better and hopefully, St. John’s is a learning curve.
Jajuan Johnson responded to the benching
After not seeing any time on Saturday night, Jajuan Johnson came out with a purpose. He had 11 points including an electrifying dunk that put Marquette back up 14 with his free included. He played really well tonight and much more in control than what we’ve seen in the past couple weeks. Let’s all hope this is how he plays for the remainder of the year, and it’s not a one-time thing.
Players of the Game: Matt Heldt (Marquette), Bashir Ahmed (St. John’s)
Next Up: Golden Eagles take their hot shooting on the road to Providence for one of the premier bubble games of the weekend. This will be another ‘revenge’ game for Marquette as they look to avenge their loss last month to Friars. In that game, Providence shots lights out from deep and over their heads. Friars have won two straight over Butler and Xavier with Creighton on deck who they play on the road. This will not be an easy one for Golden Eagles.