Marquette Travels To Butler Saturday At 1 p.m.
Jan. 16, 2014
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (10-7, 2-2 BIG EAST) hits the road again for league action when the squad makes its first-ever trip for BIG EAST Conference play to Butler (10-7, 0-5 BIG EAST) on Saturday, Jan. 18 at 1 p.m. CT. CBS Sports Network will feature MU’s 15th national television broadcast of the campaign, with Dave Ryan (play-by-play) and Pete Gillen (analyst) calling the action. Following the matchup with the Bulldogs, the Golden Eagles will fly directly to Georgetown for an 8 p.m. CT contest against the Hoyas on Monday, Jan. 20.
MU’s Start To League Schedule Tough To Match
It can be argued the beginning (first six games) of the 2013-14 BIG EAST Conference schedule for Marquette is as tough as any encountered by league programs this season.
Only the Golden Eagles and DePaul open with 4-of-6 on the road and that run includes three first-ever trips in conference action for MU to Creighton, Xavier and Butler. Through games of Jan. 15, that quartet (including Georgetown) of teams has combined to post an overall record of 36-3 in their respective home arenas.
BIG EAST Signs Tourney Sponsor, Tickets On Sale
The BIG EAST and FOX Sports on Monday announced that NEW YORK LIFE, one of the largest life insurers in the world, has agreed to become the presenting sponsor of all BIG EAST conference championships through the 2014-15 academic year, highlighted by a comprehensive sponsorship of the BIG EAST men's basketball tournament in Madison Square Garden.
Tournament tickets are now on sale through Ticketmaster.com or through the league’s official website, BIGEAST.com.
Marquette-Butler Series Full Of History
Marquette holds a slim 15-14 advantage over Butler in the all-time series, which dates back to the 1922-23 campaign.
MU claimed the first-ever meeting 18-17 on Dec. 16, 1922, only to see the Bulldogs claim the next nine matchups. Marquette also collected a nine-game win streak between 1942 and 1990, with the last two contests during that run coming when both programs were members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
Following Marquette’s move to the Great Midwest Conference in 1991-92, the two teams wouldn’t meet until Butler beat the Golden Eagles at the buzzer in the opening game of the 2012 Maui Invitational. MU would return the favor in the 2013 NCAA tournament, downing the Bulldogs 74-72 in the closing seconds to earn a trip to the squad’s third-straight Sweet 16 appearance.
Marquette’s Defensive Unit Among Nation’s Best
One constant during the 2013-14 campaign has been the team’s effort at the defensive end of the court.
Through games of Jan. 15, the Golden Eagles rank first in the BIG EAST and 36th in the nation in scoring defense (63.2 ppg.). The squad’s field goal percentage defense (.394) is 35th in the country and third in the league. MU’s opposition is also only converting on 64.0 percent of its chances from the free throw line, which is the 13th-lowest mark in NCAA Division I.
Jamil Wilson Doubles Up For The Second Time
Following a game in which he played just 12 minutes at Xavier due to foul trouble, senior forward Jamil Wilson responded with an impressive performance against Seton Hall.
The Racine, Wis., native posted his first double-double of the campaign and second of his career in the win over the Pirates, finishing with 16 points and 11 rebounds in 37 minutes of action. He finished 5-of-11 from the field and also dished out one assist.
In 86 career games with Marquette after spending one season at Oregon, Wilson’s only other double-double came at DePaul in 2011-12 when he finished with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Mayo Provides Spark Off The Bench
With the move of senior forward Davante Gardner (2012-13 BIG EAST Sixth Man of the Year) to the starting lineup the previous three outings, the Golden Eagles lost one of the team’s primary scorers from the reserve unit.
Junior guard Todd Mayo, who has come off the bench in every game this year, has picked up his offensive production and his effort in the win over Seton Hall was a perfect example. The Huntington, W.V., native finished with 19 points in 26 minutes of action and he knocked down 4-of-6 shots from the field and all nine of his free throw attempts. He also found time to chip in two assists and one steal.
In 2013-14, Mayo has led the bench corps in scoring on five occasions and the team in points in four outings. He has reached double figures in five of MU’s last six contests.