Marquette Defeats No. 8 Illinois
Marquette men’s basketball got their first big time win of the year. The Golden Eagles put on a show as they came back from 10 points with 9:26 left in the game. Senior guard Darryl Morsell led the way in scoring with 21 points.
This marks newly named head coach Shaka Smart’s first ranked win as a coach for Marquette. The game plan was clear from Smart, slowing down the Illinois offense. Marquette was able to hold Illinois to just shooting 37.9 percent from the field.
Marquette was able to have their way on defense all game. The Golden Eagles had a season high in steals, recording 10 Monday night. Freshman Kameron Jones, senior Kur Kuath, redshirt freshman Tyler Kolek and redshirt freshman Olivier-Maxence Prosper all recorded two steals Monday night.
Kolek was able to find an open jumper which sparked a Marquette run with 6:06 left in the second half. Marquette was able to find their rhythm and eventually cut the deficit down to three with 3:30 left in the game.
For two straight minutes the game was stuck at 66-65 Illinois. As Illinois’ guard Trent Fraizer dribbled up the court, Kolek was able to make a game-changing steal and a basket on the other end which gave Marquette a 67-66 lead with 17 seconds left in the game.
As Illinois tried to draw up one last play after a missed free throw by Kolek; Kuath made a game-winning steal off of Illinois’ Andre Curbelo which sealed the game.
Coach Smart was able to see a lot of freshman perform at a high level in Monday’s win. Freshman forward Justin Lewis made an impact by scoring 17 points and had four rebounds. Kolek also was a key factor, recording himself 12 points from the offensive side along with having the biggest steal of the game.
Marquette will try to continue their winning streak Thursday, versus Ole Miss. The game is scheduled for Nov. 18th, tip-off at 6:00p.m. CT