They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the one posted here just says one word - Frustrating. This Marquette team can play so well at times, but at other times can look like a team that should be playing in Conference USA again. This last week was one of those times.
On Saturday night Marquette took on the Irish of Notre Dame, and earned a 45-36 lead at halftime. But in the second half they decided not to play defense, and they didn't take good shots. Notre Dame started playing a zone, and it just shut Marquette down down. The Irish would go on to win 80-75, with Ben Hansbrough giving the home crowd a good show. He would finish the game with 28 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds.
Tuesday night it was more of the same for Marquette as UConn came to the Bradley Center. The Golden Eagles were down at halftime, but went on a 13-3 run mid second half. That gave Marquette a 56-51 lead with 11:24 to play. But Darius Johnson-Odom didn't score the team's next field goal until the 1:47 mark of the game. Going just under 10 minutes without a field goal is not going to win you a lot of games. UConn finished the game on a 21-8 run to win it 76-68. It was just another late game meltdown by the Golden Eagles, in large part to the bench and their rough outing of just four points in a total of 49 minutes.
Losing games like this is getting old, and it's also causing me to believe more and more that Marquette might not be dancing this season. With a record of 13-8 overall, and 4-4 in the Big East, they better start winning some games. Six of the eight defeats this season has come at the hands of ranked teams. Wisconsin and Vanderbilt are the only unranked teams they lost to, and both those teams are ranked now. I still don't think that will make a case for them to get into the big dance. They are not getting crushed by any of these teams, but they are showing they can't close games out.
Marquette still has four ranked teams that they have to play this season, so I figure they need to almost win at least two of those games. They must also do work against the unranked teams they still have to play in the Conference. A mini run in the Big East Tournament could get this team in the big dance, but they need to step up their game. They need stop having frustrating games, and start getting some victories.