Save The Overtime For ND

By Troy A. Sparks, BASN Staff Reporter
Updated: March 7, 2010

MILWAUKEE (BASN) — None of the three seniors on the Marquette men’s team — David Cubillan, Maurice Acker and Lazar Hayward — liked the conclusion of their storybook careers on Saturday.

They ended the regular season at home with a 63-60 overtime loss to Notre Dame.

It was a bittersweet moment for the Golden Eagles, even though they were on the cusp of beating the Fighting Irish, who needed a win to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

With 1:02 left in regulation, Marquette (20-10, 11-7, Big East) held a 51-45 lead after Hayward missed the last of his two free-throws. Had he made the second free-throw, the Golden Eagles would’ve made it a three possession game.

11 seconds later, Notre Dame’s Tim Abromaitis nailed a three-pointer and the Irish (21-10, 10-8) called a timeout with 51 seconds left. Down 51-48, Notre Dame got a second chance to tie the game after an offensive rebound from Ben Hansbrough from a missed three-pointer.

He found Carleton Scott with a second left and Scott made a three-pointer that sent the game into overtime tied at 51. “We played everything the right way,” Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. “It was just the way it went.”

“There was a scrum for a loose ball and somehow it falls to (Scott). It was a good shot.” After Tyrone Nash’s jumper gave Notre Dame a 53-51 lead to start the extra period, Hayward fouled out at the 4:06 mark of overtime. Nash and Abromaitis then scored 10 of the Irish’s 12 points in overtime to hold off the Golden Eagles.

It was a tight contest throughout the first half that included a surprise. Notre Dame coach Mike Brey changed his mind about keeping previously injured Luke Harangody out until the Big East Tournament.

Harangody entered the game with 5:32 in the half, scoring five points in nine minutes. He played only two minutes in the second half. The game was tied at 26 at intermission.

After Notre Dame went ahead 33-32, Marquette scored 10 unanswered points to take a 42-33 lead, their biggest of the game. The Irish hung around long enough to expose one of the weakest areas of the Golden Eagles — not maintaining the lead in a close game down the stretch.

Jimmy Butler said the disappointing loss didn’t weigh heavily on Hayward. “He was not really quiet (in the locker room),” Butler, who also fouled out, said. “He was just Lazar. He didn’t want to hear us talking about losing on Senior Day.”

“It was more like, ‘We got to do it in New York.

We got to move on.’

“Yeah, it was Senior Day. He didn’t let it get to him. It was just another loss, of course.

He really wanted to win.”

Abromaitis and Hayward each scored 18 points for their respective teams. Hayward moved into second place on the all-time Marquette scoring list with 1,784 career points.

Scott had 14 for the Irish and Nash added 12. Butler finished with 16 points and Darius Johnson-Odom added 12 for the Golden Eagles.

Marquette earned the No. 5 seed in the Big East Tournament and will play the winner of UConn and St. John’s Wednesday at 2 p.m. ET at Madison Square Garden.

Williams said the team is happy with the opportunity to extend their season. “They’ll be excited to play,” he said. “They’re disappointed that we got beat.

They’ll be excited to go. They’re disappointed to lose.”

“But maybe it’ll turn out and be a great lesson for us.”