by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
Early on Monday, it was all good news for Notre Dame, who cracked the top-10 for the first time in two years. However, in the toughest conference in America, ranking is meaningless, and unrranked Marquette had little trouble getting past the Fighting Irish at home.
The Golden Eagles, who quietly improved to 3-1 in the Big East and have quality wins against Notre Dame and West Virginia, shot 53.1 percent from the field and made 12-of-17 from deep to knock off Notre Dame by 22 points.
While it seemed like the entire team couldn’t miss, that was especially true for Dwight Buycks, who made 7-of-9 shots, including all five from long distance, to finish with a game-high 21 points.
For Notre Dame, the game was a rude awakening after a hot start to the season.
From The South Bend Tribune:
“I wouldn’t want to play H-O-R-S-E against them today,” said Irish coach Mike Brey, whose team never led. “They shot it great and defended us really well.
“I’m glad a night like this counts as one loss.”
The Irish tied their season low for points and trailed by double digits for the final 13:32. At one point, Notre Dame was down 26 after Marquette hit – what else? – a 3-pointer deep from the wing with the shot clock about to expire.
The win, though, says more about Marquette than Notre Dame. Under Buzz Williams, the Golden Eagles have continued to avoid down years and have been a regular contender in the most competitive league in the country. With four of Marquette’s five losses away from home, it will have a golden opportunity to prove its legitimacy with a trip to Louisville this weekend.