SHABBONA — When things are clicking and are going your way, it’s easy to forget the past, when things weren’t going to well. Then all the sudden, they come back to you.
For nearly three full quarters, all of the mistakes, errors and foibles the Marquette Crusaders had committed during its five-game losing string were gone. They played solid, controlled basketball in that span against Evergreen Park and when Austin Threadgill hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer, it led the Mustangs by 11 points with just eight minutes to play.
However, all that work quickly went down the drain. The Cru went without a field goal for the entire fourth quarter and committed eight turnovers, allowing Evergreen Park to climb back in until two treys by Pat Doran in the final 35.1 seconds forced overtime. MA’s struggles continued there and the Mustangs came away with a shocking 56-48 win here at the Indian Creek Shootout on Saturday afternoon.
Jack Snook finished with a game-best 17 points, 11 in the fourth quarter and overtime, with Logan Komater adding 10 points and Chase Thumm nine, each grabbing a team-leading five rebounds. However, the turnovers and the 2-of-14 shooting drought in the game’s last 14 minutes caused the 14-10 Cru a heart-breaking sixth straight loss.
“I thought we played great for 30 minutes, controlled the tempo, but then hit the panic button a little bit,” said Marquette coach Todd Hopkins, “but give them credit. They turned the pressure up the last two-three minutes and hit some crazy shots, some of them circus shots, and that’s what happens, especially when you’re on a slide ... When you’re on a slide, you can’t expect a break. You have to expect the other stuff and sometimes that accumulates, just like the snow outside.
“We did keep fighting. We’re there, we’re close and I’m tired of saying it, but we just have to get up off the floor, compete on Tuesday and get this turned around.”
Against the longer, quicker and more athletic Mustangs, the Cru worked Hopkins’ deliberate, slow-tempo game play perfectly at the start. Behind eight points from Snook and six each from Thumm and Vance Childers, the locals jumped to leads of 8-2 in the first period and 16-8 in the second before taking a 22-14 edge to the locker room at the half.
Six Logan Komater points and Threadgill’s trey made it 36-25 heading to the fourth, but the latter would be MA’s only field goal in a stretch of 11 minutes, 45 seconds, covering the entire fourth quarter, until a Snook bucket at the start of OT.
EP (10-13) came alive and using defensive pressure scored the first 11 points of the fourth, six of them among Rishod Brown’s 13 points, to tie it. Snook managed to get to the free-throw line and converted seven of eight, the last two with 44.9 seconds showing for a 45-39 Cru lead. That’s when Doran drained a trey from the left wing and, after MA’s eighth miscue of the stanza, hit another from the key with 13.8 left to force OT.
Snook’s hoop gave Marquette a brief lead, but soon a banked trey from the key by Daniel Woodall — the last of his 12 points, 10 in the fourth and OT — gave EP the lead for good.
“Early on, we just couldn’t finish,” said EP coach Pat Flannigan. “I told our shooters that they just had to keep shooting and eventually it would come around and they hit two big 3s at the end there to get our momentum going … We thought they (the Crusaders) were getting a little tired. We were really trying to work their guy (Snook) and we kept saying during timeouts, ‘He’s wearing down, we have to keep working him’ and we did a pretty good job of that.”
Evergreen Park 56, Marquette 48
EVERGREEN PARK (56) — Des. Tyus 2-7 3-5 7, Rickert 0-1 0-0 0, Dez. Tyus 1-2 1-2 3, Woodall 4-8 3-4 12, Doran 4-10 2-2 12, Blalock 3-9 0-0 7, K. Brown 0-4 0-0 0, D. Brown 6-9 1-2 13, Winters 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 21-53 10-16 56.
MARQUETTE (48) — Snook 4-14 9-10 17, Komater 3-5 4-4 10, Thumm 3-6 3-6 9, Threadgill 2-9 0-0 6, Childers 2-6 2-2 6, Duchon 0-0 0-2 0, Donahue 0-0 0-0 0, Melvin 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-40 18-24 48.
Evergreen Park (10-13) 6 8 11 20 11 — 56
Marquette (14-10) 12 10 14 9 3 — 48
3-point goals — Evergreen Park 4-17 (Doran 2-6, Woodall 1-1, Blalock 1-5, Rickert 0-1, Dez. Tyus 0-1, D. Brown 0-1, K. Brown 0-2); Marquette 2-8 (Threadgill 2-7, Thumm 0-1). Rebounds — Evergreen Park 34 (Des. Tyus 8); Marquette 31 (Snook 5, Komater 5, Thumm 5). Turnovers — Evergreen Park 14; Marquette 18. Total fouls (fouled out) — Evergreen Park 24 (D. Brown); Marquette 18 (none).