Marquette Travels to St. John's Wednesday Night
Jan. 19, 2015
TV Info: FOX Sports 1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
MU Owns Long History With St. John's
Marquette leads the all-time series (15-8) with St. John's and has claimed victories in 13 of the previous 16 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 following season STJ 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 season with a 26-5 record.
STJ posted a 91-90 double overtime win in Milwaukee in the most recent matchup on March 8, 2014. Guard Derrick Wilson's baseline jumper as time expired bounced off the rim and St. John's was able to escape with the win in the regular season finale for both teams.
Marquette's Defense Improving In League Play
Thanks to a variety of approaches at the defensive end in league play, the Golden Eagles own one of the top units in the BIG EAST Conference through five games.
Through games of Jan. 18, Marquette is in possession of the top scoring defense (61.2 ppg.) in the league and the squad's field goal percentage defense (.404) is third. The Golden Eagles are allowing opponents to shoot just 29.9 percent (2nd) from long distance in conference outings and the squad's 8.6 steals per contest is easily the best mark among the 10 programs.
Marquette's recent defensive success is thanks in large part to the team's ability to switch between zone (2-3 and 1-3-1) and man-to-man looks.
Marquette Coming Up Just Short In Road League Games
Each of the team's three league losses this season has come on the road and every game has illustrated how valuable each possession is in BIG EAST action.
The Golden Eagles have lost by an average of just 4.3 points and the six-point setback at Georgetown (65-59) marks the largest margin of defeat. In two of the outings (at DePaul, at Xavier), MU was in possession of a double-digit lead well into the second half.
Saturday afternoon against Xavier, a missed layup and tip attempt with 25 seconds left would have put Marquette up one point, but the Musketeers were able to secure the rebound and clinch the win at the free throw line.
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