Marquette Travels to No. 6/7 Villanova Wednesday Night
Jan. 11, 2016
TV: FS1 | Radio: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (12-4, 2-2 BIG EAST) hits the road to continue BIG EAST Conference action Wednesday night at 7:30 p.m. CT when the squad faces No. 6/7 Villanova (14-2, 4-0 BIG EAST) in The Pavilion. FS1 will feature Marquette’s 14th national television broadcast of the campaign, with Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Donny Marshall (analyst) calling the action. Following Wednesday’s matchup, the Golden Eagles will return home to host No. 7/8 Xavier at 1 p.m. CT on Saturday, Jan. 16 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. The game against the Musketeers will mark the start of 4-of-5 at home.
BIG EAST Play Renewed Long Series With Wildcats
Villanova holds a 17-9 advantage over Marquette in an all-time series that dates back to 1960, but over half of the matchups (18) have come since the Golden Eagles joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06.
Along with regular season and tournament matchups in league play, the two teams also squared off in the 1963 National Invitation Tournament and the 1980 NCAA Championship. Marquette downed the Wildcats 66-58 in the NIT, but fell 77-59 in the opening round of the NCAA’s in Providence, R.I.
Marquette has dropped each of the last six meetings with Villanova, including an 84-49 decision last season in the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Tournament. That loss ended Marquette’s season and allowed the Wildcats to claim each of the three meetings in 2014-15.
The Golden Eagles have yet to claim a win at The Pavilion, with their most recent win (82-78 in 2011-12) coming at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.
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 four league outings, MU’s first-year players are accounting for a league-high 45.0 percent (360-of-800) of the team’s total minutes. Forward Henry Ellenson leads the way with 34.2 minutes per game and Haanif Cheatham (31.0 mpg.) and Traci Carter (21.5 mpg.) combine to collect a majority of the playing time.
Strong Second Half Allows MU To Rally For Win
It was a tale of two halves for Marquette in its win over St. John’s on Saturday afternoon, but fortunately for the Golden Eagles a strong second half proved to be the difference.
After knocking down just 38.2 percent of its field goals in the opening 20 minutes, Marquette shot 57.7 percent from the field following the intermission thanks in large part to a combined 24 points from sophomore guard Duane Wilson and freshman forward Henry Ellenson. MU carried over its strong shooting to the free throw line as well, connecting on 15-of-17 (88.2 percent) of its attempts to help seal the victory.
Fischer Putting Together All-Around Season
Competing for a full season for the first time in his career, center Luke Fischer is producing at a level that puts him among the top big men in the BIG EAST Conference.
Through games of Jan. 10, the Germantown, Wisconsin, native is one of just eight players (Henry Ellenson is ranked in seven) to be ranked among the top-15 in the BIG EAST in at least six different categories. He is currently 13th in scoring (13.9 ppg.), seventh in rebounding (7.8 rpg.), fifth in field goal percentage (.600, 25th in nation), second in blocked shots (1.9 bpg.), first in offensive rebounds (3.6 orpg.) and 15th in defensive rebounds (4.2 drpg.).
Fischer played just one semester as a freshman at Indiana (2013-14) and wasn’t eligible at Marquette until the second semester in 2014-15.
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