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.
Mika leads BYU to upset of No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 - 1 hour ago
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Top-ranked Gonzaga's quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU's Eric Mika (6'10''-F) on Saturday night. Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars' first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs' perfect record in their last regular season game. The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute lef... [read more]
Top-ranked Gonzaga's quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU's Eric Mika (6'10''-F) on Saturday night. Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars' first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs' perfect record in their last regular season game. The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute left in the game. Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and then Corbin Kaufusi (6'10''-C) had a putback and Mika hit two free throws to put the game out of reach. Gonzaga ended a string of 15 consecutive games where it didn't trail in the second half. "They haven't had anyone have a lead on them in the second half for quite a while," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I thought that would be a really big emotional thing for us, and an emotional thing for them to have to respond. "You beat the No. 1 team on the road the last weekend of the season, it's good for a lot of reasons," Rose added. The Cougars rallied from an early 16-point deficit, and Mika said the team never wavered in its belief it could win. "I think all of us did and that was a big thing," Mika said. "I don't think a lot of teams, especially in our conference, believe 100 percent that they're going to come in and do that." The Cougars scored 44 points in the second half and made nine 3-pointers to just three for Gonzaga. Nigel Williams-Goss (6'3''-G-94) scored 19 points for Gonzaga (29-1, 17-1 West Coast), which was seeking to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season without a loss. "Obviously, it didn't go as we hoped," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We missed a lot of free throws and turned the ball over too much to be able to win a close game like that." Gonzaga missed 13 of its 29 free throws and had 16 turnovers but still led most of the game. "The season isn't over," Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews (6'4''-G-94) said. "It is a great season. We'd love to be 30-0, but we are 29-1." T.J. Haws added 17 points and Elijah Bryant 14 for BYU (21-10, 12-6). The last team to finish the entire season undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76. Gonzaga came out fired up and jumped to an 18-2 lead in the first five minutes, making 7 of 10 shots. The Zags cooled off, and three consecutive 3-pointers by BYU's Haws cut Gonzaga's lead to 26-22. Mika's basket cut Gonzaga's lead to one point before the Bulldogs closed with a 10-5 run to take a 41-35 lead at halftime. Zach Collins (7'0''-F-97)' putback gave Gonzaga a 58-46 lead midway through the second. A technical foul on Gonzaga helped BYU cut its deficit to 58-53 and seemed to spark the Cougars. A pair of 3-pointers by Nick Emery (6'2''-G) cut Gonzaga's lead to one, and Mika's basket gave the Cougars their first lead at 61-60. The teams traded baskets until Mika put the Cougars ahead for good. Courtesy of: abcnews.com
Behind a double-double from Jae'Sean Tate (6'4''-F) and hot shooting nights from C.J. Jackson (6'1''-PG) and Jaquan Lyle (6'5''-G-96), Ohio State handled No. 16 Wisconsin, 83-73, in head coach Thad Matta 's Ohio State-record 457th game at the helm of the Buckeyes Thursday at Value City Arena. Tate went for 15 points and 12 boards for his second-consecutive double-double while Jackson went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc en route to a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds, four as... [read more]
Behind a double-double from Jae'Sean Tate (6'4''-F) and hot shooting nights from C.J. Jackson (6'1''-PG) and Jaquan Lyle (6'5''-G-96), Ohio State handled No. 16 Wisconsin, 83-73, in head coach Thad Matta 's Ohio State-record 457th game at the helm of the Buckeyes Thursday at Value City Arena. Tate went for 15 points and 12 boards for his second-consecutive double-double while Jackson went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc en route to a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Lyle added 17 points, including all 10 from the charity stripe, while also tacking on four helpers for the Buckeyes (16-13, 6-10 Big Ten). Bronson Koenig (6'4''-G) led all scorers with 27 for the Badgers (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten). After a Koenig 3-pointer gave Wisconsin a 6-4 lead just over two minutes into the game, the Buckeyes used a 9-0 run to take a 13-6 advantage with 14:40 remaining in the half. The Buckeyes then got hot from the field, turning it into a 44-31 halftime lead. For the half, Ohio State shot 51.6 percent while connecting on five shots from behind the arc. Tate turned in a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards in 17 first-half minutes while Jackson added nine points and three assists. Koenig kept the Badgers in it with 14 in the first half, including four 3-pointers. The Badgers had the Buckeyes lead trimmed to nine at 56-47 with 11:00 remaining but back-to-back 3-pointers by Lyle and Jackson pushed the Ohio State advantage up to 15 at 62-47 with 9:19 left to play. Wisconsin was unable to get within 13 until the final minute of play as the Buckeyes hit on 5 of 6 3-pointers after the half. Courtesy of: mariononline.com
San Diego, CA - Jenny Craig Pavilion had never hosted the No. 1 team in the country before Gonzaga showed up on Thursday night. The top ranked Bulldogs (29-0) came in and systematically dismantled the University of San Diego (12-17) 96-38, recording the largest margin of victory ever for a No. 1 team on the road. Gonzaga jumped out to an 11-0 lead while USD missed its first nine shots and pushed that lead to 28 at halftime despite nine turnovers and 50 percent shooting from the foul line. [read more]
San Diego, CA - Jenny Craig Pavilion had never hosted the No. 1 team in the country before Gonzaga showed up on Thursday night. The top ranked Bulldogs (29-0) came in and systematically dismantled the University of San Diego (12-17) 96-38, recording the largest margin of victory ever for a No. 1 team on the road.
Gonzaga jumped out to an 11-0 lead while USD missed its first nine shots and pushed that lead to 28 at halftime despite nine turnovers and 50 percent shooting from the foul line. The Zags came out even more focused in the second half and shot an astounding 74 percent from the field including 8-of-11 from 3-point range. Gonzaga hit 13 3's on the night while USD managed just 14 made buckets, a recipe for disaster. The Zags imposed their will defensively challenging every shot and staying solid. Combine that effort with smart play and you get that type of performance as they only committed 12 fouls in the game.
Every night it can be one of several players leading the way for the Zags and on this night the first standout was Johnathan Williams III (6'9''-F-95). The 6-9 junior transfer from Missouri made his presence known early on both ends of the floor. USD was determined to quickly double Przemek Karnowski on every touch and he was more than willing to pass out of the traps. Williams found himself on the receiving end of passes out of the rotations resulting in 10 first half points despite missing 4-of-6 free throws. He was more dominant on the defensive end grabbing 13 first half rebounds while USD only grabbed eight as a team. Williams was aggressive and used his size and athleticism to attack everything coming off the rim. His performance allowed the guards to leak out in transition and push the pace offensively leading to several of those open 3-point looks. Williams finished the night with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 19 rebounds. He is now shooting 61 percent from the floor on the year.
The Tritons came out determined not to let the 7-1 Karnowski beat them and he was held to just three field goal attempts notching just five points and three rebounds. But he became a facilitator in successfully passing out of the post and initiating the offensive attack. It has been the calling card all year long of the unselfish Bulldogs who made it look easy all night long in shooting 66 percent for the game.
Leading scorer 6-5 junior Nigel Williams-Goss had a typical game for him with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. The player of the year candidate is averaging 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He is always in control, is a vocal leader on the floor and plays extremely hard on the defensive end. He had the ability to get to the rim whenever he wanted yet he displayed patience by working the offense and finding even easier shots for his teammates. Many of those open looks went to Josh Perkins and Zach Collins. Perkins (6-3 soph.) knocked down 5-of-8 from 3-point range and seemed to be unguarded all night long. He also chipped in five rebounds and led the team with six assists, which shows he was not forcing shots up.
The Bulldogs also have the luxury of bringing a 7-foot McDonald's All-American off the bench in freshman Collins. Collins is third on the team in scoring at 10.7 per game despite only playing 17 minutes per game. He has the look of a future lottery pick written all over him. He has a great combination of size and athleticism to go along with polished post moves and a soft touch. He can score on either block with either hand. He made one play where he caught the ball at the high post in a high-low set, saw the pass was not there then took one hard dribble to his left and finished it left handed like a guard. He is also a good defender and has 3-point range (43.8%).
There were not many bright spots for USD on a night where they shot just 24 percent, which was not their worst performance of the year on their home court (19 percent vs. St. Mary's). Sophomore 6-2 guard Olin Carter was the only player in double figures for the Tritons finishing with 15 on 6-of-16 shooting. He worked hard offensively trying to find cracks in the Bulldog defense but mostly had to settle for contested jump shots. When given good looks he can knock down shots consistently, but those opportunities were rare on this night. Brett Bailey leads the team averaging 15.6 points but he was held in check tonight. The 6-6 forward out of Spokane could not find his stroke going just 3-of-11 for seven points. He created a few scoring opportunities using his ability to put the ball on the floor against the bigger defenders but was unable to finish around the rim.
The Bulldogs proved once again that they are in the national title hunt with this dominating performance. According to Synergy Stats they are No. 2 in offensive points per possession and No. 1 in defensive points per possession. They are big, athletic, deep, unselfish and play with poise and purpose on both ends of the floor. They are going to be a tough out in March. Gonzaga will host BYU on Saturday and try and finish the regular season undefeated. San Diego will host Portland, also on Saturday.
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