Marquette Hosts St. John's Saturday On Al's Day

Freshman Haanif Cheatham led the team in scoring in the win at Providence.
Jan. 7, 2016

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The Last Meeting
St. John's (Al's Night)67
March 4, 2015
Milwaukee, Wis.
St. John's Clips Marquette, 67-51
The Marquette University men's basketball team suffered a 67-51 set-back to St. John's on Wednesday evening at the BMO Harris Bradley Center and will conclude the regular season on Saturday afternoon against DePaul in Milwaukee.

The Marquette University men’s basketball team (11-4, 1-2 BIG EAST) returns home to host St. John’s (7-9, 0-3 BIG EAST) in BIG EAST Conference action at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 9. FS Wisconsin will feature the television coverage from the BMO Harris Bradley Center, with Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Nick Bahe (analyst) calling the action. Saturday’s contest will be the first of a pair of matchups in just two weeks as the programs conclude the home-and-home series Jan. 23 at Madison Square Garden.

Marquette Facing St. John’s On “Al’s Day”

Marquette leads the all-time series (15-10) with St. John’s and has claimed victories in 13 of the previous 18 outings.

The series began in 1959-60 and prior to the clinching of the BIG EAST title on the last day of the regular season in 2012-13, the series’ top highlight was a 65-53 Marquette win in the championship game of the 1970 National Invitation Tournament. MU claimed the title under the direction of legendary head coach Al McGuire, who played for three seasons at St. John’s (1948-51). In his first season with the Redmen, he finished third in scoring with an 8.1 points per game average. With his brother, fellow Hall of Famer Dick McGuire, who captained the 1948-49 squad, St. John’s finished the season with a 15-9 record.

The next season, St. John’s finished with a 24-5 record as McGuire averaged 7.7 points a game. He finished his collegiate career in 1951, averaging 8.5 points per game and helping lead his team to third-place finishes in both the NIT and NCAA. The team concluded the 1951 season with a 26-5 record.

McGuire’s coaching career at Marquette included the 1977 national title, nine NCAA tournament appearances and a 295-80 overall record.

Freshmen Learning On The Job In BIG EAST Play

The Golden Eagles have featured three freshmen in the starting lineup for a majority of the season in 2015-16 and while the group has encountered success in non-conference play, it has had to learn on the job very quickly in BIG EAST Conference play.

Through the team’s first three league outings, MU’s first-year players are accounting for a league-high 44.7 percent (268-of-600) of the team’s total minutes. Forward Henry Ellenson leads the way with 36.0 minutes per game and Haanif Cheatham (31.3 mpg.) and Traci Carter (19.3 mpg.) combine to collect a majority of the playing time.

St. John’s (41.3 percent) is second to Marquette in minutes (248-of-600) played by newcomers in conference action.

Wilson Layup, Ellenson Block Secure Win At Providence

Duane Wilson’s hanging layup with 30 seconds left and Henry Ellenson’s block of a Kris Dunn shot as time expired proved to be enough to claim an impressive 65-64 win at No. 8/9 Providence Tuesday night.

Wilson finished with 11 points (nine in the second half) off the bench for the Golden Eagles and Ellenson collected his ninth double-double (13 points, 10 rebounds) thanks to one final rebound after the blocked shot.

Marquette, which led for the first 30 minutes of the game, trailed 58-50 with 6:33 left. An 8-0 run tied the score with 3:54 on the clock, but the Golden Eagles wouldn’t re-claim the lead until Wilson’s basket.

BIG EAST Schedule Providing Plenty Of Top-25 Matchups

With four BIG EAST teams currently ranked among the nation’s best, Marquette will have plenty of opportunities to claim top-25 wins this season.

The Golden Eagles are 115-181 all-time versus programs in the top-25 at the time of the matchup, including a 43-110 mark against top-10 squads. MU added a win to both categories on Tuesday night, downing No. 8/9 Providence 65-64 on the road, the program’s first win over a top-10 team since the 2013 Sweet 16 matchup versus Miami.

Marquette defeated No. 22/17 LSU earlier this season at the Legends Classic for the team’s first top-25 victory under head coach Steve Wojciechowski.




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