MU Hosts Providence On National Marquette Day
Feb. 2, 2018
The Marquette University men's basketball team (13-9, 4-6 BIG EAST) wraps up its three-game homestand on Saturday, Feb. 3 when the squad hosts Providence (14-8, 5-4 BIG EAST) at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on National Marquette Day. FS1 will feature the team's 22nd national television broadcast of the campaign, with Jeff Levering (play-by-play) and Doug Gottlieb (analyst) calling the action. Following Saturday's action, the Golden Eagles will spend most of the next week on the East coast for a two-game swing to Seton Hall (Feb. 7) and St. John's (Feb. 10) before enjoying their second bye (Feb. 10-17) in the BIG EAST schedule.
Golden Eagles Celebrate National Marquette Day
National Marquette Day is a tradition dating back to the 1960s that brings the Marquette nation united together in pride and spirit to honor the values of the University.
Friday night's (Feb. 2) outdoor pep rally across the street from the Al McGuire Center, is the official tip-off of the National Marquette Day weekend celebration and will be capped by a fireworks display following the women's game vs. Providence.
On Saturday afternoon, alumni will gather in Milwaukee and around the world at more than 70 locations representing multiple states from Hawaii to New York to celebrate Marquette and cheer on the men's basketball team against Providence.
In its present form, National Marquette Day has been around since 1992. The celebration was preceded by Spirit Day, with roots dating back to the 1960s.
Marquette-Providence Dates Back To 1963
While the all-time series between Marquette and Providence consists of just 25 games (Marquette leads 17-8), the matchups do include a number of memorable contests for MU fans.
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 Marquette overtime win 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.
Guard Markus Howard added to the series' memorable moments in the first meeting this year when he netted a school and BIG EAST record 52 points in the 95-90 overtime victory by Marquette at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Jan. 3. The Friars claimed their first-ever victory in Milwaukee last season, earning a narrow 79-78 win at the BMO Harris Bradley Center on Jan. 28, 2017.
Marquette Not Afraid Of Accepting Charity
While a majority of the focus throughout the season regarding the team's effort at the charity stripe focused on Markus Howard's consecutive makes, it should be noted that the entire squad's effort from the free throw line has been one of the best in the country.
The Golden Eagles are currently first in the BIG EAST and third in the nation in free throw percentage (.792). Should the squad finish above last year's season-long mark (.781) it would be the program's best effort dating all the way back to the 1948-49 campaign (first season of available records).
Marquette is led by the league's top two free throw shooters in Howard (1st, .943) and Andrew Rowsey (2nd, .901) and Sam Hauser is right behind at .861. While that trio accounts for a majority of the attempts, it should be noted that the player with the longest current active made free throw streak (12) is center Matt Heldt. The Neenah, Wisconsin, native is currently 21-of-23 (.913) from the stripe this year and hasn't missed dating back to Nov. 27. He entered the season as a 56.1 percent career free throw shooter.
Howard continues to lead the nation in free throw percentage (through games of Feb. 1) and Rowsey is 16th.
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