Monday, Feb. 18, 2008

An actually enjoyable Marquette game...

By Nicole
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I have to say I was more than a little wary heading to the Bradley Center Friday night for the Marquette/Pitt game. My level of patience with the Golden Eagles had slowly been running out and I was afraid we'd be subject to yet another disappointing appearance.

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about. After that last horrific loss at Notre Dame, it looks like a little bit of that hop is back in the step of the Golden Eagles with a win at Seton Hall and now the worst Big East regular season road loss for Pitt in the Jamie Dixon era (&  Pitt's first Big-East road loss by more than eight points under Dixon)

Pitt is now a bit notorious for being unable to win at the Bradley Center. Since Marquette joined the Big East in 2005, the Panthers haven't beaten Marquette there in three tries.
"I said before the game to my teammates, 'This is the toughest place to play,'" Young said. "Three years in a row now … I just can't get a win here."

While Dominic James was just 2-for-11 from the field, he also had 12 assists - that's as many as the whole Pitt team combined. He also had five rebounds and didn't commit a turnover. This is the leader that we've been waiting to see!

I can't tell you how impressive and fun Ousmane Barro was to watch. He was 4-for-4 in his first half field goals as he consistently got in behind the Pitt D for easy layups under the hoop. He finished the game with 14 points and  a season-high 12 rebounds. He also held Pitt's big guy, DeJuan Blair to just six points and five rebounds. He was by far the guy you couldn't take your eyes of all game.

From the JSOnline.com recap:
"Barro opened the game on fire, throwing down three dunks and hitting all four of his shots in the opening 7:55 as MU took a 15-11 lead. Defensively he was up to the challenge as well, swatting a pair of Panthers shots as he helped set the early tone against the physical Blair."

The game Friday night was the only college basketball game on national TV and the Golden Eagles picked a great time to come out of their slump and show a national stage that they deserve the notice.

The game was also a tribute to the 2003 Final Four team. All fans received a weird plaster replica of the ring (who knew there was a Final Four ring?) and a few team members, including Travis Diener, Steve Novak and Scott Merritt were in attendance. Cracked Sidewalks has the whole halftime video here.

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