Sports

Golden Eagles doomed by cold start against the fourth-ranked Bruins


Marquette forward David Joplin is swarmed by UCLA defenders, from left, Johnny Juzang, Jaylen Clark and guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. in the first half.

Marquette forward David Joplin is swarmed by UCLA defenders, from left, Johnny Juzang, Jaylen Clark and guard Jaime Jaquez Jr. in the first half.

Marquette’s highly anticipated game with fourth-ranked UCLA started later than expected on Saturday.

The Golden Eagles’ shooting was also very tardy.

An ugly start to the game put MU in a hole and the Bruins cruised to a 67-56 victory at Fiserv Forum.

The game was delayed by seven hours after UCLA (8-1) had trouble getting to Milwaukee. The Bruins spent Friday night in Denver after a crack was detected in the cockpit windshield of the team’s plane.

In the first half, it was MU’s offense that was missing in action.

Darryl Morsell hit a three to give the Golden Eagles (8-3) a 3-1 lead 1 minute 7 seconds into the game. But after that, MU went frigid, going into a scoreless drought of five minutes that ended when Oso Ighodaro put back a jumper.

UCLA looked like it was going to run the Golden Eagles out of the gym, going up 33-10 with 3:10 left in the first half. MU was shooting an eye-gouging 1 for 16 on three-pointers at that point.

But Greg Elliott gave the Golden Eagles the spark they desperately needed. He hit a three, then found center Kur Kuath on an alley-oop and added another triple.

Elliott sank another three right before the buzzer and MU went into the break down 35-21. Elliott shot 3 for 5 in the first half while his teammates combined for 4 for 26.

UCLA’s Jamie Jaquez Jr. had 14 points to lead the Bruins in the first half.

Elliott was inserted into the opening lineup in the second half. He hit a three-pointer just over a minute later to pull MU within 37-26.

But Johnny Juzang answered with a triple of his own. Juzang later hit a layup after a steal and then knocked down another three that gave UCLA a 52-30 lead and appeared to quell MU’s hopes of a comeback.

The Golden Eagles had another burst to get within 56-42 on a three-pointer by Kam Jones and then 57-44 on a layup from Olivier-Maxence Prosper.

Elliott matched his collegiate high of 17 points early in the second half and then reached 20 when he knocked down a three that closed the gap to 62-50.

The Golden Eagles finally got the deficit down to single digits in the final minute.

Elliott finished with 22. Jaquez had 24 for UCLA.

MU was 8 for 33 (24.2%) on three-pointers.

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This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Marquette Golden Eagles lose to UCLA at Fiserv Forum



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