It was a rough beginning for the Marquette men’s Golden Eagles (18/15) in the match-up against the West Virginia Moutaineers (25/22). Marquette had only 2 points in the first 5 minutes of play. With over 11 minutes left in the first half, Marquette had gone just 3 for 17 from the field and 0 for 6 from beyond the arc. Their defensive play was not helping, as West Virginia was ahead of Marquette by 8 with a little under 7 minutes left in the half. Jerel McNeal led the team in points the first half with 11, while Wesley Matthews did not score at all. West Virginia’s only downfall the first half seemed to be fouling. De’Sean Butler committed 3 fouls in the first half. The score at half was 31-29 West Virginia, thanks to a 3 point shot made right before the buzzer.
Marquette would have to rally in the second half in order to match up against the taller WVU lineup. Fortunately for the Golden Eagles, their first half field goal shot percentage became the Mountaineers’, and the Mountaineers’ became Marquette’s: shooting 33.3 percent in the first half, Marquette shot 52 percent in the second, and outscored West Virginia 46-22. Jerel McNeal led the way with 26 points, with 15 coming in the second half. Dominic James followed McNeal with 17 total points. Wesley Matthews also contributed to Marquette’s big second half, scoring all 13 of his points after the break. Field goals in the second half were not the only aspect of the game that solidified Marquette’s win; they converted 24 of 27 free throws while only allowing their opponent 10 attempts from the line all morning. Again, they won Coach Williams's all-important free throws made to opponents' free throws attempted statistic. The Golden Eagles had a little help from West Virginia’s top scorer as well. Da’Sean Butler fouled out after scoring the team high 16 points. This 75-53 win over conference foe West Virginia leaves Marquette at 15-2, and 4-0 in Big East conference play. The Golden Eagles next game is Saturday the 17th on the road verse Providence at 8 PM.
Maria Sapienza and Kari Kaelin