MU Opens Road Trip Wednesday At No. 7/7 Villanova
Feb. 2, 2015
TV: FOX Sports 1 | Radio: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men's basketball team (10-11, 2-7 BIG EAST) opens a two-game road swing Wednesday night at 6 p.m. CT when the squad travels to No. 7/7 Villanova (19-2, 6-2 BIG EAST) for a BIG EAST Conference matchup at Wells Fargo Center. FOX Sports 1 will feature Marquette's 18th national television broadcast of the campaign, with Joe Davis (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (analyst) calling the action. Following the matchup with the Wildcats, the Golden Eagles will remain on the road for the team's outing at Seton Hall on Feb. 7.
BIG EAST Play Renewed Long Series With Wildcats
Villanova holds an 14-9 advantage over Marquette in an all-time series that dates back to 1960, but over half of the matchups (15) 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 three meetings with Villanova, including a 73-56 setback at the Wells Fargo Center on March 2, 2014. MU was led by forward Deonte Burton's 13 points and VU guard Darrun Hilliard led all scorers with 26 points.
The Golden Eagles do own a pair of victories over Villanova at Wells Fargo Center. Guard Dominic James scored 25 points to help lead MU to an 85-75 win on Feb. 25, 2008 and the team hung on for an 82-78 victory on Jan. 28, 2012. MU trailed by as many as 18 points in that game, but Darius Johnson-Odom (26 points) and Jae Crowder (20 points, 11 boards) led the second-half comeback.
Marquette Coming Up Just Short In League Play
The Golden Eagles are in the midst of a five-game losing streak (longest since 1990-91), but in all but one of the games they have been one or two possessions away from claiming a victory.
Of the squad's nine league games, two have benn decided in overtime and a total of eight were four points-or-closer in the final minute of regulation. The Golden Eagles have lost by an average of just 4.0 points in the squad's four road outings in conference action and in two of the games (at DePaul, at Xavier) Marquette was in possession of a double-digit lead well into the second half.
Even the team's two wins came down to the wire. Marquette was forced to make late free throws to hold off Providence 75-66 on Jan. 3 and Matt Carlino's 3-pointer in the final seconds against Creighton resulted in a 53-53 victory on Jan. 14.
Of the 10 league programs, only Marquette and Butler opened the conference slate with 4-of-6 outings on the road.
Carlino Carrying Offense In League Play
Senior guard Matt Carlino, who entering the season was the only MU player to ever average double figures in points for a campaign (at BYU), has picked up his offensive production during league competition and leads the conference in three categories.
The Phoenix, Arizona native is fifth in the league in scoring (18.2 ppg.) in BIG EAST outings and is also among the conference leaders in free throw percentage (1st, .886), 3-pointers made (1st, 3.4 3-pt pg.), steals (1st, 2.0 spg.) and 3-point field goal percentage (9th, .403) through games of Feb. 1.
Carlino has reached double figures in scoring in each of the last 10 outings and is ranked among the conference leaders in six different categories in BIG EAST play. Including his three years at BYU, he is now in possession of 1,512 points, 511 rebounds and 387 assists.
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