It seems strange to think that it was less than two weeks ago that the Marquette Golden Eagles were absolutely demolished at home by the Iowa Hawkeyes. Since then, they've won four straight games: against Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers, the Arizona State Sun Devils, the Jackson State Tigers and Wednesday night's 95-49 victory over the Grambling State Tigers.
Never even close
At no point over the 40 minutes was the game a tight contest. Marquette took a 2-0 lead exactly one minute into the game when Henry Ellenson opened the scoring, and the Golden Eagles never trailed. Within the next six and a half minutes, Marquette's lead had grown to 14-0. It took Grambling State almost seven minutes before the finally got on the board, and it was soon 26-2.
It was painfully evident that the Tigers were woefully overmatched. It was clear that the referees felt the same way, and gave a number of soft decisions in favor of Grambling State. Yet, they were still unable to get into the game. Before long, Marquette found themselves with a 35-6 lead and could have easily hit the 60 point mark before the break if they'd really wanted to. As it was, they slowed down a bit over the opening period's last couple of moments as the Tigers put some point on the board to cut the advantage to 47-23.
Wally Ellenson saves the second half
In the second half, it was evident to all involved that the game was over. However, Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski wouldn't allow his players to take their feet off the gas pedal, and he never stopped imploring them to play to their maximum. The players responded, and in spite of some sloppy possessions maintained their stranglehold on the game. In particular, those in attendance at the BMO Harris Bradley Center were lucky enough to finally see a Wally Ellenson dunk in person. Ellenson, one of the top high jumpers in the NCAA, soared through the air to finish off a fast break after an alley-oop pass. It was the sort of play which deserves a place on the SportsCenter Top 10 Plays, and made this writer dream of seeing future dunks of the same ilk.
The Golden Eagles continued their terrific team offensive effort, and never stopped scoring. They finished the game with 34 made field goals and 30 assists as a team, and the scoring was spread out quite evenly across the entire squad. All 12 eligibly players for Marquette saw game action, and with the exception of walk-on Cam Marotta, everyone got on the scoresheet.
Jajuan Johnson led Marquette in scoring with 20 points, but there were four other players who finished in double figures in scoring. Henry Ellenson finished with 16, Luke Fischer finished with 14, Duane Wilson added 11 and Sandy Cohen III tacked on 10 of his own.
Meanwhile, Niqel Ribeiro did his level best to keep the Tigers in the game as he poured in 16 points, but this one was never a game.
With the loss, Grambling State falls to 1-6 and will now have to regroup as they look forward to a game on December 12th at Tennessee State. Meanwhile, Marquette improves to 5-2 and will get ready to host Maine on Saturday.