Marquette Bench Sparks Amazing Rally Past Lindbergh
Marquette substituted for all its starters and the following 30-7 run led the Mustangs to a come-from-behind win over Lindbergh at home.
After watching Lindbergh score the first eight points of the third quarter to build a nine-point lead Thursday night, Marquette coach Shane Matzen called timeout and subbed in five players off his bench to send a wakeup call to his starters.
Not even he could have predicted what happened next.
Marquette’s substitutes followed with a 30-7 run to take control of the game and lead them to a 54-44 come-from-behind win over Lindbergh at Marquette High School.
“We went from maybe one of the poorest three minutes I’ve seen in my 15 years here to maybe the best four minutes I’ve ever seen,” Matzen said. “It was really hard to comprehend to tell you the truth. All of a sudden it just turned around."
The loss was the third in a row for Lindbergh (5-4), after starting 5-1 on the season.
“I’ve seen it done before and it works most of the time for a little bit,” Lindbergh coach Jason Wolfard said of Marquette’s wholesale substitution. “I’ve never seen it in that dramatic of a fashion where it works for that long. The guys on the floor have to get stops.
“We stopped guarding. Give credit to them because they had guys that came off the bench and stepped up and made plays. They went through us like we weren’t even there.”
Marquette led 18-11 midway through the second quarter before allowing an 8-0 run to end the half. Mik Ebert’s jumper at the buzzer gave the Flyers a 19-18 lead.
Lindbergh’s run continued in the third quarter as a layup by Blake Welch, a thunderous dunk by Charley Mueller and two baskets by Will Spitzfaden upped the Lindbergh lead to 27-18 barely two minutes into the second half.
A stoppage in play allowed Marquette call timeout and substitute for all five players on the floor. Matzen used the time to let his players know that he was less than pleased with their efforts.
The bench players put their unusual amount of playing time to good use, tying the game at 29 by using a three-point play by Ryan Marks and a 3-pointer by Justin Singer. Chris Lenzen followed with the first of his three 3-pointers in the second half to put Marquette up for good.
Marquette followed the 16-0 run by Lindbergh with a 16-2 run of their own to lead 36-31 after the third quarter. The Mustangs pushed the run to 30-7 in the fourth when Lenzen’s third make from behind the arc put Marquette in front 48-35 with 2:13 left.
Spitzfaden, who returned after missing both games in the Meramec Tournament with a sprained ankle, led the Flyers with 17 points. The Flyers leading scorer Mueller added 10, but had just two in the first half after departing early in the second quarter with two fouls. Ebert had nine and Welch had six for Lindbergh.
Lenzen led Marquette with 10 points. Ryan Rosburg and Zack Ploeger both added nine.
“We’ve been beating ourselves,” Wolfard said. “Just seeing spurts where I know how good we can be and then just not being that same team, whether it’s a turnover, a bad shot, not guarding—that run that we made, we made shots, we ran, we defended, we rebounded and we played with energy.
“We’ll go back to practice tomorrow and get ready for next week. We had a chance to beat a great team and the chips didn’t fall our way so we’ll go back to doing the things that got us the wins and recommit to defense and hopefully bounce back.”
“I think Lindbergh is an awfully quality opponent. I’ve known Jason a long time and they are a hard team to beat. I think they are going to have a great year,” Matzen said.
The Mustangs host Parkway North at 7 p.m. Tuesday.