Louisville Wears Down Marquette
Marquette's lack of depth caught up to them in the second half, though. Late in the game you could see the Marquette players were just a step slow, their shots falling just a little short, their legs offering less lift.
To win in Freedom Hall against this Louisville team, the entire Marquette team -- especially the guards -- had to have a very good game. That did not happen.
While Wesley Matthews did what he could, Jerel McNeal had a horrible game, finishing with only 10 points on 3-for-19 shooting. Maurice Acker only took five shots made just one. David Cubillan could not bring himself to pull the trigger the entire game. That only increased the onus in the backcourt on Matthews and McNeal. It also made it that much easier for Louisville to focus their defensive effort on the two.
That is something that Marquette is going to be facing the rest of the season. Without the threat of James attacking the basket -- to say nothing of his passes to find open shooters -- Marquette becomes easier to defend. Dominic James by himself averaged over five assists per game. Without him, Marquette only managed seven assists for the game. The ability to utilize Lazar Hayward and Chris Burke inside just did not happen. The Golden Eagles, all too often, were stuck passing along the perimeter and eventually McNeal or Matthews taking a shot.
While Louisville is playing the typically aggressive, pressing defense expected from a Rick Pitino team, the offense is really sharing the ball well as well. Louisville continues to look like a team starting to peak at the right time.