Mick Sullivan summarized the Marmion offensive output succinctly Friday night in Aurora.
"Shots weren't falling," the Cadets' post said.
In a Chicago Catholic League boys basketball contest, Sullivan had a tip-in on the Cadets' opening fourth-quarter possession to reduce the virtually game-long Marmion deficit to 4 points.
But Providence Catholic did not allow Marmion to score again in claiming the final 12 points of its 50-34 victory.
The Celtics' Adam Taylor and Scott Slocum led all players with 19 and 16 points, respectively, in the Providence win.
The central story of the game was the Cadets' collective inability to score from the field.
Marmion missed its final 10 shots from the floor to end the game.
But it was the third such instance of the game as Marmion suffered through the same shooting woes to end the first quarter, only to misfire on its opening 10 shots to begin the second quarter.
"This isn't brain science," Marmion coach Tony Young said. "This is basketball. You don't make shots, everything fails after that."
The Cadets (8-10, 2-2) missed 25 of their 29 first-half shots from the field and ended the game at 23 percent accuracy after shooting 9-for-28 after the intermission.
Providence (8-9, 2-1) limited the Cadets to single-digit outputs in three of the four quarters in taking a 25-11 halftime lead.
Tommy Surges' field goal on the third possession of the game gave Marmion its only lead of the night.
But after its 20 consecutive missed shots from the floor bridging the first two quarters, Marmion did not reach double figures until Sullivan had a tip dunk in the waning moments before halftime.
"This is just a team effort," Taylor said. "Defense comes first. You can't play offense without defense."
But the Marmion offensive fortunes changed dramatically after halftime.
The Cadets converted 8 of their 13 field goals in the third quarter in scoring 8 more points than the other three quarters combined.
"I knew we were a better basketball team," said Sullivan, who used second-chance opportunities as the bedrock of his team-high 13 points. "I was really focused on crashing the boards. I was getting to the rim more."
Surges, Carlos Liz and Jon Reid all had 3-pointers in the third quarter for Marmion.
"We had teamwork (in the third)," Young said. "When you play with energy and effort, good things happen."
The Cadets reduced their 14-point deficit at the break to 38-34 when Sullivan had the last of his 9 second-chance points to begin the fourth.
But Taylor and Slocum answered by combining for the next 11 points.