Game Recap

Not the Dawgs Day: Marquette Blows Out Butler, 76-57

The Butler Bulldogs fell to the Marquette Golden Eagles, 76-57, at the Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sunday afternoon.

The Butler Bulldogs just had a tough go of it offensively, as they shot 23-60 (38.3%) from the floor and just 4-20 (20%) from 3 point range.

In particular, Butler’s best outside shooters, Sean McDermott (0-5 FG, 0-3 3 PT) and Jordan Tucker (3-12 FG, 1-6 3 PT) seemed to struggle overall.

As McDermott and Tucker go, oftentimes do the Bulldogs–when it relates to winning or losing a basketball game.

While Butler’s collective shooting woes certainly contributed to their lopsided loss, one major point of contention right now among Butler fans is the officiating.

Butler got to the line just 8 times (hitting 7 free throws), while Marquette was able to get to the charity stripe 28 times (hitting 21 free throws)–which is a huge disparity.

Some of that can be attributed to Marquette attacking the basket more and being stronger with the basketball (drawing contact instead of fading away), but there were also a number of calls (or lack thereof) on Sunday afternoon–that seemed rather obvious in retrospect.

In particular, there was a sequence where Marquette’s reigning Big East Player of the Year Markus Howard was able to draw a questionable foul call, but Baldwin could not on an ensuing offensive drive (where there was contact for a potential “and one” attempt)–while McDermott was egregiously knocked to the floor only moments later on a driving layup attempt–all occurring in the second half of action.

Butler’s best players simply cannot buy a call at times.

The officiating became such a point of exasperation, that Butler head coach LaVall Jordan got a technical foul in the second half (his third in Big East Conference play for the Bulldogs), complaining about the lack of whistles.

At the time, Butler was down just 38-32 with 15:45 left in the second half, but went on to be outscored 19 to 38 points.

That being said, no one should question whether Jordan should’ve gotten the technical. It was well warranted at the time (with the question being whether it should’ve happened even earlier), and it had a chance to galvanize the team for a comeback victory.

It just didn’t happen.

That happens.

The Bulldogs losing to a good Big East Conference (and Quad 1) team on the road isn’t the disappointing part, it’s getting blown out–and seeing just how inconsistent this team oftentimes plays on the road.

Kamar Baldwin led the Bulldogs with 23 points (10-16 FG, 3-6 3 PT), 6 rebounds, a steal, and an assist in 35 minutes of action.

The Bulldogs also got a strong outing from Wisconsin native Bryce Nze, who had a ‘homecoming’, scoring 14 points (6-9 FG), 5 rebounds, and 2 assists in 29 minutes of play.

In fact, one could make the argument that the Bulldogs went away from Nze, who had 10 points (5-6 FG) in the first half, entirely too soon in the post–as he was one of their most consistent offensive players all afternoon.

The same can’t be said for his frontcourt partner in crime, starting center Bryce Golden, who really struggled from the field, scoring 7 points (3-11 FG). It was a forgettable day for Golden, who was coming off a strong showing against Villanova.

Markus Howard led the Golden Eagles with 17 points (4-11 FG, 3-9 3 PT).

The #19 Bulldogs fall to 18-6 (6-5 Big East) and will host the Xavier Musketeers (16-8, 5-6 Big East) this Wednesday at 6:30 PM EST (CBSSN).

The Bulldogs dropped to #22 in the KenPom rankings.

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