Men's Basketball Falls To Marquette
Nov. 20, 2000
MILWAUKEE (AP) - A sprained ankle wasn't enough to stop Brian Wardle.
The Marquette guard amazingly played the entire second half after hitting the floor hard and spraining his ankle late in the first half, scoring 26 points to lead Marquette to a 68-64 victory over Massachusetts Monday.
"I've sprained it so many times that it doesn't swell, so I was able to keep playing," Wardle said. "It's fine."
It did give his coach an anxious moment. "It's a scary feeling," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "Brian just continued to step up and make big plays."
Wardle's heroics, plus five free throws in the final minute by reserve guard Brian Barone, proved decisive for the Golden Eagles (1-1), who came back after a bad start. They were 2-for-19 shooting at the outset, but the Minutemen (1-1) couldn't build more than a five-point lead and Marquette was up 29-19 at halftime.
In the second half, Wardle hit two 3-pointers and went inside to complete a 3-point play, and the Golden Eagles led by 11 points three times. But the Minutemen came back, led by guards Shannon Brooks and Monty Mack.
Oluoma Nnamaka went inside for a 3-point play with 50 seconds left to give Marquette a 63-59 lead and Barone took care of the final five points at the line. He went 5-for-6 in the last 26 seconds to offset two free throws by Nack and another 3-pointer by DePina.
Nnamaka scored 13 points for Marquette.
Four players scored all but one of the UMass points. Crooks scored 19 points, Mack 16, Jackie Rogers 15 and DePina 13.
Marquette scored 16 of its final 18 points on free throws in the final seven
minutes and shot 33 percent (18-55). UMass, after shooting 31 percent in the
first half, finished at 44 percent (21-38).
"Hold a team to 33 percent and you usually win the game," UMass coach Bruiser Flint said.
The Golden Eagles had a 43-30 edge in rebounds with freshman Scott Merritt pulling down nine while playing only 14 minutes before spraining an ankle.
The game also was marred by 55 fouls and the two teams combined for 65 free throws. Marquette had a 30-15 advantage in made free throws, much to Flint's dismay.
"They had 13 more rebounds and they shot 40 free throws," Flint said, "That was it, in a nutshell. It was a foul-fest out there. ... But they stepped up and made their foul shots when they had to. We didn't."
Crean hopes to see more of the same. "That's more of the way we'd like our team to look," he said. "We got a lot of production from a lot of players, we got a lift off the bench.
"But we've got to shoot better and that will come. I was pleased with our rebounding, but we've got to do that every night."
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