MU Hosts Providence Thursday Night At 6 p.m. CT
Jan. 28, 2014
TV Info: FOX Sports 1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (11-9, 3-4 BIG EAST) wraps up a two-game homestand Thursday night when the squad welcomes Providence (15-5, 5-2 BIG EAST) to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for a 6 p.m. CT tip. FOX Sports 1 will feature the television broadcast, with Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Kevin O’Neill (analyst) calling the action. MU will depart for New York City following the game for Saturday’s outing at St. John’s. The matchup will be the first of a doubleheader at Madison Square Garden, which also features Georgetown taking on Michigan State in non-conference action.
Marquette-Providence Dates Back To 1963
While the all-time series between Marquette and Providence consists of just 16 games, the matchups do include a number of memorable contests for MU fans. The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 12-4 and have claimed each of the last nine outings. MU is 7-0 all-time versus the Friars at home.
The two programs first met in the 1963 National Invitation Tournament and the result was a 70-64 victory by PC. The teams would cross paths four years later in the same event and a slim 81-80 win by Marquette in overtime helped the squad to a runner-up finish under head coach Al McGuire. Providence ended MU’s run in the 1997 NCAA tournament with an 81-59 victory in Charlotte, N.C.
Marquette posted an 81-71 victory over the Friars at the BMO Harris Bradley center last season in the most recent matchup. Guard Junior Cadougan led four players in double figures with 15 points and MU shot 49.2 percent from the floor. The game gained national attention after several delays were caused by a low-flying bat that was loose in the arena.
Marquette Working Overtime In Recent Outings
After not playing an overtime contest through the first 17 games in 2013-14, the Golden Eagles have now participated in three-straight extra-session outings.
Marquette dropped a 69-57 decision at Butler (Jan. 18), rallied to defeat Georgetown (Jan. 20) 80-72 on the road and fell Saturday at home to No. 4/5 Villanova 94-85). The Golden Eagles are 8-5 under sixth-year head coach Buzz Williams in overtime contests and each of the 13 games has come in BIG EAST Conference action.
The last time MU played three-straight OT contests came during a league road swing in 2009-10. Marquette downed Cincinnati (79-76), St. John’s (63-61) and Seton Hall (84-83) in an eight-day stretch and actually concluded the regular season with 4-of-5 games that needed more than 40 minutes to decide the winner.
MU is now 53-53 all-time in overtime games, with the first decision being a tough 19-18 loss to Franklin in double OT in 1923-24.
Mayo Continues Dramatic Scoring Role
One game after his 3-pointer in the closing seconds forced overtime in the win at Georgetown (Jan. 20), junior guard Todd Mayo took his dramatic scoring role to another level versus Villanova.
The Huntington, W.V., native scored 10 of his 18 points in the final 34 seconds of regulation, including a trio of free throws with five seconds left that tied the score at 77-77. He concluded the game 7-of-10 from the floor in 26 minutes off the bench and 3-of-4 from the charity stripe.
In the team’s last three outings, 17 of Mayo’s 28 total points have come in the final minute of regulation or overtime.
Thomas Specializing In Long-Distance Calls
Senior guard Jake Thomas ranks among the league leaders in treys made (10th, 1.9 3-ptpg.) and long-distance field goal percentage (13th, .378) in all games in 2013-14.
A shooting specialist from behind the line, 95 percent (37-of-39) of his made baskets this season are 3-pointers and 98-of-114 (86.0 percent) of his total attempts are from behind the line. He has reached double figures in points on six occasions this season and has knocked down at least one trey in 15 of the team’s 20 outings.
Thomas’ pair of two-point buckets came at home against Grambling St. (Nov. 12) and at Xavier (Jan. 9). In 43 career appearances for MU, 47-of-52 baskets (90.0 percent) are 3-pointers and that total doesn’t include the 175 treys he made in two seasons at South Dakota.
Gardner Picking Up Production In League Play
Senior forward Davante Gardner was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll Monday afternoon thanks in part to his 29-point, 13-rebound effort against Villanova on Saturday afternoon.
The double-double was the fourth of the season and eighth of Gardner’s career. He was 9-of-16 from the field and 11-of-14 from the charity stripe and seven of his boards came at the offensive end.
The Suffolk, Va., native’s scoring (17.6 ppg.) and rebounding (6.3 rpg.) contributions in league play are well above his season averages and he is currently ranked among the league leaders in six categories (PPG, RPG, FG Pct., FT Pct., ORPG & DRPG) in BIG EAST outings.
MU’s Defense Still Ranks Among League’s Best
Marquette is still in possession of the league’s top-ranked scoring defense (65.5 ppg.) through games of Jan. 27 and MU’s field goal percentage defense (.400) is second to only Georgetown (.396). Opposing squads are also shooting just 64.1 percent from the free throw line versus the Golden Eagles, the 10th lowest mark in the nation.