It was all smiles and cheers tonight as the Marquette Golden Eagles soared pass the Seton Hall Pirates. It took a stern lecture from Golden Eagles coach Buzz Williams to wake up the Eagles team who was tied at the break with a struggling Pirates team. In the span of 22 seconds the Pirates tied the game at the half and Williams was not a happy camper in the locker room afterwards.
I’m not sure what he said to his team, but they totally controlled the second half. Again it was their star player, Vander Blue, who put this team on his back by driving the ball to the rim and hitting from behind the arc. Blue had a great game on both sides of the ball. Blue is averaging nearly 16 points per game since scoring his career best 30 points in a win against South Florida.
Coach Williams said this about Blue, “Since that game, Blue has been playing at a different clip…definitely playing at a very good clip and the last two games have been his best because of his consistency. The others have allowed Blue to feel the freedom to make plays.”
Blue isn’t the only one who stepped up tonight and showed the Big East that Marquette is a tough team to reckon with. He was on the outside getting the job done and Davante Gardner was on the inside getting it done. He took control down low and is an offensive weapon. Even coach Williams said this, ”Our kids understood that Davante is an offensive presence on the floor.” Williams continued, “Over the last four or five games, it’s the best he’s played for us.”
Gardener is playing tough and aggressively crash the boards. The Golden Eagles used an overwhelming rebounding advantage to get this victory.
The Senior point guard on the team, Junior Cadougan, was scoreless but he was the floor general making sure everyone got touches. Cadougan said, “We need to fight no matter who we’re playing. We sometimes tend to forget what we need, but no matter where you are, you need to come out with high energy and believe in what got you there. That’s what we did in the second half.”
That is exactly what they did in the second half, they got their focus back and fought hard with a high level of energy.
The Golden Eagles were happy to talk to the media after the game but it was a different story for Seton Hall. Seton Hall coach Kevin Willard closed his locker room to the media after the disappointing loss. He was very disappointed in his team’s efforts in the second half. It is always hard to lose at home especially to be blow out by letting your opponent get the upper hand.
Seton Hall didn’t respond to the runs that the Eagles put on and didn’t put on a fight. Willard said this about not fighting, “We have a couple changes we need to make, bring in guys who have a little more fight.” The Pirates struggled on offense in the second half and Fuquan Edwin was a one man show which didn’t get it done.
It is great to win on the road especially in the Big East. Williams said after the game, “The only time you have a chance to win on the road is to overwhelm teams with your intensity, your fight and your spirit.” He continued, “It’s incredibly hard to win on the road no matter who you’re playing.”
Marquette now only has three more road games left to unranked teams. The next game will be a tough road test at Villanova. Look for Marquette to come out victorious in that game and be ready to play the two most important games at home, Syracuse and Notre Dame which will be back to back games.
John D. Hayden is a Writer and Contributor for RantSports.com, covering the NCAA and NBA. Follow John on twitter @jdhayden09, or add his Google + to your circles for all of his latest articles, thoughts, and rants.