|This would have been nice.|
Rick was back at the tip to report that "Jamel McLean's mom is rockin a sweet Xavier grey alternate jersey." Shannon Russell was impressed with Kenny's early effort: "How about Kenny Frease with XU's first four points and a rebound?" Mark Lyons' second foul was universally hailed as bad news by the Muskie faithful. Mike DeCourcy summed up the officiating thus: "Don't know who these refs are working Marquette-Xavier. I know they are not good."
Kenny continued to assert himself on the post, and Shannon Russel reported that "Kenny Frease was just screaming at Jeff Robinson to give him the ball. He gave Jeff a look when the soph. passed away." Yours truly observed 10 minutes in that a certain segment of the team wasn't doing so well: "Frease, Taylor, Lyons 5-5 from the floor. Rest of the team 0-13." Rick Broering said, "This is where X's experience and success in the tournament helps. Terrible first 15 minutes but able to keep their minds right." I don't think any of us realized that 20-17 was going to be the high-water mark for the Muskies on the night.
Halftime came with X down 13, and the stats came out. Lance McAlister pointed out that XU was 6-7 this year when trailing at the half, and their largest deficit had been 11 to Gonzaga. Clint Spaeth said "Down 13 feels like we are down 30. Credit to Marquette defense. Gotta play our best 20 minutes of the year to win." XU recruit Dezmine Wells was more succinct with his analysis: "We gotta pick it up." Lance McAlister was back with more good news, reporting "Marquette 17-4 with lead at half this year, 53-10 under Buzz."
"Xavier has to ride Frease as long as Holloway's not scoring. He's been their one consistent threat tonight but only had 4 shots in 1H" was Broering's look-ahead to the second half. Sadly, that didn't happen, and Kenny ended the night with six shots. "Andrew 'Buckets' Taylor with another 2.... He has 12" was Broering's next analysis, as he and Taylor heated up together. A Jeff Robinson tip cut it to eight, but DJO hit a three to respond that Rick reported was "HUGE." He was right.
From there it was over. Mo Egger observed that "From the get-go, the XU game has had no flow at all." Broering reported "Ballgame Jae Crowder." A-Tay's one shining moment continued, and Shannon Crowder noted that he was "playing the game of his life. 7-for-8 for a team-high 14 points. Can tell he wasn't circled on scouting report.
When it was over, Lance McAlister observed that it was "Marquette's 6th Top 25 RPI win....Kansas, OSU, Duke have 3, NC, Texas, Purdue have 2." Maybe the seeding didn't help. Clint Spaeth said, "Well that sucked. It was a better season than I expected but what a terrible way to end it." Mo Egger noted that "Shorthanded, left for dead, still a hell of a year for XU." Dez Wells is ready to make next year better, pronouncing "We'll bounce back next year!! Proud of my boys..." Clint was on board with this, tweeting "Disappointed with the end but thanks for the good year. Look forward to next year."
XU players starting shaking off the grief and moving forward. Big Kenny was first with "Thanks to all our fans... Couple weeks off here then back at it... Transformation tour part two." Jordan Latham is going to miss the seniors, but he pronounced that "The dance give me a whole new out look on college ball. I got to work." Fellow freshman Griffin McKenzie summoned up the pathos to type "good season fellas" before presumably heading off to bed. Examiner favorite Dante Jackson sent out thanked "those who sent nice tweets: thanks, you guys have been great for 4 years I appreciate all your support it's been GREAT!!! Go X!!!" Judging from the Twitter response, we're not the only ones who are going to miss him.
That's it from the last game of the year. We've enjoyed culling tweets this season, and we look forward to doing it all summer. As much as Dante is going to be missed on the floor, X is also going to need someone to step up and replace his Twitter production as well. In the meantime - and as always - keep tweeting, and we'll keep posting them.