Milwaukee, WI - Before any of his Marquette teammates walked onto the Bradley Center court on Saturday afternoon, even before the bus bringing the game's opponent, the DePaul Blue Demons, arrived to the arena, Andrew Rowsey (5'10''-PG-94), was getting up shots by himself.
Not only was Rowsey preparing himself for another Big East game, but he was also trying to drown out the memory of his performance in Marquette's previous game. As Marquette worked overtime to defeat Seton Hall earlier in the week, Rowsey spent all but three of those 45 available minutes of playing time anchored to the bench. In those three minutes, Rowsey drew the anger of Marquette Coach Steve Wojciechowski by first allowing a basket at the rim after selling out to the player he was guarding and losing vision of the ball and then putting too much air under a pass that was easily stolen.
Different game, different result.
Getting an early call from Wojciechowski after starting point guard Markus Howard picked his second foul halfway through the first half, Rowsey responded by spearheading a Marquette offensive outburst that turned a 22-22 tie into a 52-31 Marquette advantage at the half in a game the Golden Eagles would go on to win 83-58. 'The Seton Hall game took a lot out of us,' said Wojciechowski. 'I thought we were heavy-legged to start the game. It's amazing how your energy level goes up when you make shots.'
Rowsey, generously listed at 5-10, is a score-first guard with deep shooting range. After misfiring on a corner three-point shot shortly after entering the game, the redshirt junior went on a three-point shooting tear connecting from all areas behind the arc in knocking down five straight three-point shots. Rowsey shot all this triples off the catch. After making his first three three-pointers with little DePaul resistance, he drained a three-point shot at the right break after a quick stop in transition and finished off his first-half work connecting on a fallback three-pointer from the left corner.
Asked after the game if his limited playing time against Seton Hall fueled his performance against DePaul, Rowsey said, 'Yeah, you could say that. I know my role. I know that each night it could be anybody. Coach told me that wasn't going to be my night, but to keep my head up because any game could be mine. So that's what I did, just looked forward to the next one.'
This was not the first time Rowsey, who transferred to Marquette after two all-conference seasons at UNC Asheville, has showed off the combustible side of his offensive game this season. While scoring over 20 or more points in each game against opponents Pittsburgh, Western Carolina and St. Francis (PA), Rowsey combined to make 13-of-27 shots from behind the three-point stripe.
Rowsey said that when he gets it going from distance, 'the ball feels like a rock and the basket looks like an ocean. You definitely have to ride that wave, and it's a fun wave to ride.
'We talked with Andrew (after the Seton Hall game) and he responded,' said Wojciechowski. 'His threes were momentum plays. I'm proud of the way Andrew played.'
Marquette also received a big boost in its end-of-the half run from fellow rotational player and graduate transfer Katin Reinhardt. A 6-6 wing with stops at UNLV and Southern California on his resume, Reinhardt scored 11 first-half points knocking down 4-of-5 shots from the floor including all three of his shots from distance. Unlike earlier in the season, when Reinhardt appeared to be breaking off plays to take open and contested shots often early in the shot clock, the southern California native has settled into his role off the bench and actually plays with better rhythm and more patience than when he began the season in the Marquette starting line-up.
Joining Rowsey and Reinhardt in making a huge contribution off the Marquette bench was redshirt junior Duane Wilson. A starter for much of his first two seasons in a Marquette uniform, the 6-2 Wilson has transitioned nicely into a back-up role. A two-way player listed among the Big East steal leaders, Wilson impacted the game in a number of ways scoring nine points, making 2-of-3 long distance shots and handing out a team and game-high seven assists.
Entering the game as the Big East leader in three-point shots made (9.9 per game) and second in three-point field goal percentage (.409), the Golden Eagles got off to a cold shooting day misfiring on four of their first five three-point tries. But Marquette heated up in a hurry after that making 11 of their next 15 shots from distance in the first half and finishing the game converting 13-of-27 to increase its team percentage from behind the three-point arc.
Asked to explain his team's success from long distance, Wojciechowski cited his players' unselfishness and passing ability. 'I saw great ball movement and great ball movement led to some open shots,' said the Marquette coach. 'Guys were able to set their feet and shoot in-rhythm shots.' He went on to call his team's play in the last ten minutes of the first half 'some of the most unselfish basketball we've played all year.'
With the mostly strong play of Rowsey, Reinhardt and Wilson off the bench since the start of the Big East season, Wojciechowski said he feels confident in his team's scoring ability regardless of the particular player mix at the time. 'One of the things we talk about on a daily basis is on every possession we want the ball to find the best shot,' said Wojciechowski. 'I think our guys bought into that tonight and hopefully that will continue.'
Marquette takes its 12-5 overall record and 3-2 conference record to Indianapolis on Monday to take on the top-25 ranked Butler Bulldogs. DePaul also returns to action on Monday when it travels to New York to take on St. John's.
Archie Miller to be named new IU coach - 12 hours ago
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IndyStar has confirmed that Dayton coach Archie Miller will be Indiana basketball's next head coach. The news was first reported Saturday by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported Miller and IU are finalizing a seven-year contract. The 38-year-old Miller is considered one of the nation's top young coaches and has a 139-63 record. He was 2017 Atlantic 10 coach of the year and has guided Dayton to four-straight NCAA tournament appearances, including a 2014 Elite Eight appearance. Miller... [read more]
IndyStar has confirmed that Dayton coach Archie Miller will be Indiana basketball's next head coach. The news was first reported Saturday by Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski, who reported Miller and IU are finalizing a seven-year contract. The 38-year-old Miller is considered one of the nation's top young coaches and has a 139-63 record. He was 2017 Atlantic 10 coach of the year and has guided Dayton to four-straight NCAA tournament appearances, including a 2014 Elite Eight appearance. Miller has built Dayton into a consistent power in the Atlantic 10, winning regular-season conference titles in each of the last two years. He did it this year largely without the help of Josh Cunningham, one of his best players, who missed much of the season through injury. Dayton has picked off its share of high-major opponents lately, either in the NCAA tournament, or in nonconference play. He also boasts excellent bloodlines - his father is a legendary high school coach in Pennsylvania, his brother Sean is the coach at Arizona, and Archie spent time under Thad Matta at Ohio State. Courtesy of: indystar.com
Berry leads North Carolina past Butler 92-80 - 18 hours ago
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Joel Berry II (6'0''-G-95) II scored 26 points and Justin Jackson (6'8''-F-95) added 24 as top-seeded North Carolina moved to the Elite Eight with a 92-80 victory over Butler in the NCAA South Region on Friday night. Luke Maye (6'8''-F) recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, helping fuel a quick start for Carolina (30-7). The Tar Heels never let their lead get under double digits in the second half. Andrew Chrabascz (6'7''-F) led the fourth-seeded Bulldogs... [read more]
Joel Berry II (6'0''-G-95) II scored 26 points and Justin Jackson (6'8''-F-95) added 24 as top-seeded North Carolina moved to the Elite Eight with a 92-80 victory over Butler in the NCAA South Region on Friday night. Luke Maye (6'8''-F) recorded his first career double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds, helping fuel a quick start for Carolina (30-7). The Tar Heels never let their lead get under double digits in the second half. Andrew Chrabascz (6'7''-F) led the fourth-seeded Bulldogs (25-9) with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Kelan Martin (6'6''-PF) finished with 16 points for Butler, which struggled shooting early and did not recover. Carolina, which reached the Elite Eight for the 27th time, will face the winner of Friday's second game between UCLA and Kentucky. The Tar Heels connected on 54.4 percent of their shots, while Butler was at 43.5 percent. The Tar Heels broke out of the gate early, building a double-digit lead and really weren't threatened after halftime, although Butler did get within 10 at one point. North Carolina used early accurate shooting to build a 16-point lead as the Tar Heels connected on 13 of their first 18 shots, including missing only one of seven from outside the arc. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs were suffering through a scoring drought the stretched beyond 4 minutes. That helped Carolina build the advantage to 30-14 when Maye connected on a 3-pointer near the midway point of the first half. While Butler managed to whittle the deficit to single digits on a couple of occasions before halftime, North Carolina would simply answer with another rally, the last one of the half stretching the Tar Heels lead to 52-32 on its eighth 3-pointer of the half. By halftime, Jackson had 17 points, and Maye had already reached his career-high in points with 14, plus grabbing nine of the Tar Heels' 22 boards. That helped Carolina carry a 52-36 lead into the break. Chrabascz led the Bulldogs with 11 points. The Tar Heels lead would stretch the lead back to 20 near the 12-minute mark of the second half, but Butler didn't exactly allow North Carolina to coast home. A 13-4 Bulldog run made a dent in the advantage as Martin had seven in the stretch with Avery Woodson (6'2''-PG) connecting on a 3-pointer. Martin closed out the run with another 3-pointer to pull Butler within 71-60. But while the Bulldogs would cut the Carolina advantage to 10 points 2 minutes later, they would get no closer the rest of the way. Courtesy of: reviewjournal.com
Kentucky beats UCLA 86-75 in South semifinal - 19 hours ago
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De'Aaron Fox (6'4''-G-97) credits some sticky Kentucky defense for the Wildcats' latest berth in a regional final. Coach John Calipari begs to differ. He points at Fox, the freshman guard who outplayed UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball with one of the best scoring nights in Kentucky's vaunted NCAA Tournament history. Fox scored a career-high 39 points as Kentucky beat UCLA 86-75 Friday night in a showdown between two of college basketball's goliaths for a spot in the South Regional final. "All I did... [read more]
De'Aaron Fox (6'4''-G-97) credits some sticky Kentucky defense for the Wildcats' latest berth in a regional final. Coach John Calipari begs to differ. He points at Fox, the freshman guard who outplayed UCLA phenom Lonzo Ball with one of the best scoring nights in Kentucky's vaunted NCAA Tournament history. Fox scored a career-high 39 points as Kentucky beat UCLA 86-75 Friday night in a showdown between two of college basketball's goliaths for a spot in the South Regional final. "All I did at halftime was say: 'Guys. Are you watching this game?' and they said yeah,'" Calipari said. "I said; 'Ok good. You know we are playing through De'Aaron Fox. The rest of you take a back seat and play off of him.'" Fox not only turned in the best NCAA scoring performance since Tayshaun Prince had 41 against Tulsa in 2002, it was the best by a freshman in tournament history. "I scored like the first 8 points of the game, and after that I was like you know it's going to be a good night for me," Fox said. The only No. 2 seed to advance to the Elite Eight, the Wildcats (32-5) won their 14th straight game. Now the NCAA's winningest program will play another of basketball's titans Sunday in top-seeded North Carolina, a 92-80 winner over Butler earlier Friday, with a trip to yet another Final Four on the line. The third-seeded Bruins (31-5) still have the most national titles. Yet they leave their third Sweet 16 under coach Steve Alford short of the Elite Eight. "We just got beat by a very good team that played very, very well tonight," Alford said. Fans lustily booed Calipari in his first game in Memphis since leaving in April 2009 for the Wildcats . Calipari's latest crop of talented freshmen put Kentucky into a regional final for the sixth time in seven years. Malik Monk (6'4''-G-98) scored 21 points for Kentucky, and Dominique Hawkins (6'0''-PG-94) added 11. This was the fourth time these powerhouses have met in the past three seasons, and UCLA upset then-No. 1 Kentucky in Rupp Arena with a 97-92 win on Dec. 3. Fox didn't play his best in that game, taking 20 shots to get 20 points. That wasn't a problem with Kentucky fans making the FedExForum as comfortable as Lexington. Fox scored the first eight points for Kentucky and was all over the court forcing turnovers or diving to the floor to force a jump ball. He outplayed Ball, who finished with 10 points on 4 of 10 shooting before announcing he had played his final game for UCLA. Ball handed out eight assists but also had four turnovers. Freshman TJ Leaf (6'10''-F-97) and Isaac Hamilton (6'5''-G-94) each had 17 points for UCLA. Kentucky shut down the nation's top scoring team, holding UCLA well below its average of 90.2 points a game and just a point off its season-low. "We really picked it up defensively," Fox said. "That's why we won. Not because of our scoring. That team averages like 90 points a game, and we held them to ... 15 less than their average." Maybe it was nerves or so many freshmen, but Kentucky led 36-33 at halftime after a first half that wasn't close to the fast-paced pace expected. By the second half, the Wildcats at least were running up and down the court. Monk also started scoring. The Southeastern Conference player of the year had only seven points in the first half. He hit four of his first five shots, including a pair of 3s, within the first five minutes of the second. He scored off the fast break, and his second 3 with 15:52 gave Kentucky a 50-44 lead. Thomas Welsh hit a short jumper, then Bryce Alford hit a 3 to pull UCLA within 50-49. That was as close as the Bruins would get as Kentucky pushed its lead to as much as 14 in the final couple minutes. Courtesy of: abcnews.com
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