Chicago, IL - Carrying a two-game losing streak into its Saturday afternoon game at DePaul, Marquette hoped to get back to its sweet-shooting ways that saw the Golden Eagles enter the game leading the Big East in three-point shooting percentage (.417) and three-point shots made per game (10.2). Shaking off a slow start that saw them trailing 14-7 six minutes into the game, the Golden Eagles heated up from behind the three-point arc, converted on a season high 14 made three-pointers and outlasted the Blue Demons 92-79 to improve their record to 15-8, 6-5. DePaul saw its mark fall to 8-15, 1-9.
'They (Marquette) are probably close to lethal for a number of reasons,' said DePaul Coach Dave Leitao. 'First, they share the ball so well. Secondly, they have a multitude of people who can knock down shots. When they've won this season, they've played real good offense.'
Marquette turned the ball over three times while falling behind early, and Marquette Coach Steve Wojciechowski was quick to pull four of his starting five players, everyone but wing Haanif Cheatham. 'I didn't feel that our first group got us off to a great start,' said Wojciechowski.
Spearheaded by junior guard Andrew Rowsey (5'10''-PG-94) the Marquette second unit made its presence felt immediately running off an 18-0 scoring streak that staked the Golden Eagles to a lead they would never relinquish.
Rowsey took some time getting his footing with Marquette after transferring to the Milwaukee school from North Carolina Ashville. In fact, he played only one minute in Marquette's 79-61 loss to Michigan on November 17. But the 5-10 sharpshooter has been on fire of late. Beginning with Marquette's 83-58 victory over DePaul on January 14, a span of six games, Rowsey had connected on 60 percent of his field goal attempts, 59 percent of his three-point field goal attempts and averaged 16 points per game. He bolstered those numbers on Saturday by making six of eight field goal attempts and five of six three-point attempts en route to a team-high 22-point performance.
Rowsey also excels at the free throw line. Entering the game with the Big East's top free throw shooting percentage, Rowsey made all five of his free throws against DePaul and finished the game with a glittering 93 percent mark from the line for the season.
At 5-10, Rowsey is a scoring guard trapped in a point guard's body. A sure ball handler, Rowsey does his best work off the ball where he knows how to free himself from behind the three-point arc for catch and shoot opportunities. He's quick to square up on the catch and he employs a high release to compensate as much as he can for the relatively low release point that comes with a player his size. Rowsey is a master at the shot fake and when he sniffs out a defender hunting his shot to block, Rowsey will lift him into the air with a shot fake, wait for him to come down and continue his jump shot into contact to usually get the foul call.
Rowsey had plenty of help in the three-point shooting department as six different Golden Eagles recorded a made triple. Two of those, freshman Markus Howard and senior Katin Reinhardt, connected on three each.
'It all starts with how you guard the ball,' said Leitao in trying to explain his team's struggles in allowing an average of 87.5 points in the two games against Marquette. 'You have to do it with a more aggressive mindset than we had today. I don't know if I remember a stretch today where I felt comfortable with our defense. We weren't able to take away their rhythm.'
Marquette was led defensively by center Luke Fischer, a 6-11 senior who came into the game as the conference's fourth best shot blocker with a 1.3 per game average. Fischer was at his basket protecting best against DePaul showing excellent range getting to shots from all areas of the paint and finishing with a career-best seven blocks.
'A number of Luke's blocks were big,' said Wojciechowski. 'Two in particular in the second half took away a put-back and lay-up.' Asked after the game why his team had the difficulty it did with Fischer, Leitao said, 'We didn't bring the ball to him enough and shot-lift him enough.'
Wojciechowski was pleased to see Cheatham break out of a mini-slump that saw him score in single digits the last three games. Cheatham scored 15 points against DePaul and played with more confidence than he had in recent games. 'When Haanif is at his best, he's a guy who can stuff a stat sheet,' said Wojciechowski. 'While he doesn't have the explosiveness of some of our guys, he can impact the game in multiple ways.' Speaking to the Marquette coach's point, Cheatham tied Fischer with a team-high eight rebounds and his four assists tied Reinhardt for team honors.
DePaul was led offensively by junior Tre'darius McCallum. The junior college transfer scored from all three levels and had it going behind the three-point arc where he made four of seven attempts. McCallum started the season misfiring on his first 18 shots from distance. Resisting the temptation to take the three-point shot away from him, Leitao allowed McCallum to work out the kinks to his shot and the native of Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has repaid him. 'Tre has done as good a job as anyone could possible do coming from a junior college and finding his place for us,' said Leitao. 'As the season has gone along, the three-point shot has become a legitimate weapon for him.'
Marquette resumes play on February 7 when it hosts Butler. DePaul returns to action on February 8 when it travels to Xavier.
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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