Marquette 79, No. 11 Notre Dame 57: Who ever said the Big East was easy?
Just hours after Notre Dame got bumped up to 11th in the country thanks to wins over UConn and St. John’s, the Irish went into the Bradley Center and got manhandled by the Golden Eagles. Marquette shot 12-17 from three on the night, led by 21 points and a 5-5 performance from three by Dwight Buycks, as they picked up their first marquee win of the season.
Notre Dame looked sluggish — its understandable, they played on Saturday night — but its not an excuse. The Saturday-Monday turnaround happens all the time in the Big East for teams that play on Big Monday. Eric Atkins had 15 points to lead the Irish, who shot 39.6% as a team. Tim Abromaitis, Ben Hansbrough, and Scott Martin combined for just 29 points on just 34.4% shooting from the field.
If there is a bright side for Notre Dame, its that their stinker came on a night when Marquette probably wasn’t going to get beaten. When Marquette is going to shoot 70% from three, there aren’t a lot of team that are going to win in the Bradley Center. Its a good time to have your worst game of the year as a visitor.
For Marquette, this win is huge. It gets them some meat on their resume. Prior to Monday, their best win had come against West Virginia and they had lost five games — all by eight points or less — to the NCAA Tournament teams they had faced.
The issue gets a little murkier for Notre Dame. The Irish have now played three road games — at Marquette and Syracuse and against Kentucky in Freedom Hall — and lost all three by an averaged of 16 points. That’s not a good sign.
Belmont 81, Jacksonville 50: The Bruins moved into sole possession of first place in the Atlantic Sun by smoking the Dolphins in Nashville thanks to a balanced scoring attack (no one had more than 15 points, bu seven players scored at least six) and a defense that held Jacksonville to 29.8% shooting. No one is going to want to play the Bruins in they go dancing. They are now 14-3 on the season, and the three losses have all come to Vanderbilt and Tennessee (twice), and none by more than nine points.
Austin Peay 71, Tennessee-Martin 61: The Governors got 27 points and eight boards from Josh Terry as they overcame a 34-25 halftime deficit to remain undefeated in the Ohio Valley.