MU Hosts No. 11/12 Creighton Wednesday Night
Feb. 17, 2014
TV Info: FOX Sports 1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (15-10, 7-5 BIG EAST) wraps up a brief two-game homestand Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT when the team hosts No. 11/12 Creighton (21-4, 11-2 BIG EAST). FOX Sports 1 will feature the national television broadcast, with Wayne Larrivee (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (analyst) calling the action from the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Marquette will be looking to extend its season-long three-game winning streak on Wednesday. Following the matchup with the Bluejays, the Golden Eagles will travel to DePaul on Saturday afternoon for a 1 p.m. CT outings on CBS Sports Network before returning home to face Georgetown on Feb. 27 at 8 p.m. CT.
Marquette-Creighton Series Dates Back To 1922-23
While Marquette and Creighton are meeting for the first time in BIG EAST Conference play this season, the two programs are very familiar with each other.
The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 48-29, but Creighton defeated MU 67-49 on Dec. 31 in the league opener for both programs. Marquette held the Bluejays to just 40.3 percent shooting from the floor, but CU knocked down 13 3-pointers. Seniors Jamil Wilson and Chris Otule both scored 10 points in the loss.
Prior to the New Year’s Eve matchup, the most recent meeting came in the 1998 National Invitation Tournament. MU posted an 80-68 victory in the opening round at the BMO Harris Bradley Center en route to an appearance in the event’s quarterfinals.
Marquette has claimed 21 of the last 26 outings, including 10-straight between 1975 and 1984.
Depth Of BIG EAST Difficult To Match
With the postseason rapidly approaching, the BIG EAST is well positioned to place multiple teams in the final bracket. Consider these facts, through games of Feb. 16.
Thomas Specializing In Long-Distance Calls
Senior guard Jake Thomas is ranked among the league leaders in 3-point shooting and in Saturday’s win over Xavier, his long-range shooting abilities were on full display.
The Racine, Wis., native finished with 18 points on 6-of-10 shooting from behind the 3-point line to set a career-high in makes at Marquette. He is the first MU player to knock down at least six treys in a game since Maurice Acker was 6-of-6 from behind the line in a win over Providence on Jan. 17, 2010. A transfer from South Dakota, Thomas matched that program’s single-game record with 10 3-pointers against Chicago State (2/26/11).
A shooting specialist from behind the line, 92.5 percent (49-of-53) of his made baskets this season are 3-pointers and 128-of-150 (85.3 percent) of his total attempts are from behind the line. He has reached double figures in points on eight occasions this season and has knocked down at least one trey in 19 of the team’s 25 outings.
In 48 career appearances for MU, 59-of-66 baskets (89.4 percent) are 3-pointers and that total doesn’t include the 175 treys he made in two seasons at South Dakota.
Marquette Accepting Of Charity In Recent Games
The Golden Eagles entered the Feb. 11 game at Seton Hall shooting just 67.7 percent from the line for the season, but have reversed their fortunes at the charity stripe the last two games.
In victories over Seton Hall and Xavier, Marquette has combined to shoot 88.5 percent (54-of-61) from the line. Senior forward Davante Gardner has led the way in those outings with a 95.2 percent (20-of-21) effort from the charity stripe and junior guard Todd Mayo is 16-of-19 (84.2 percent).
In the two outings, opponents are just 23-of-35 (65.7 percent) from the line, which translates into a 15.5-point advantage for the Golden Eagles.
Free throw shooting has always been a strong aspect of the team under head coach Buzz Williams. The Golden Eagles converted on 73.0 percent of their opportunities in 2012-13 to rank second in the BIG EAST. In Williams’ six-year tenure, MU has only finished below 72.0 percent from the line for a season on one occasion (2010-11).
Derrick Wilson Continues To Value Possessions
Junior guard Derrick Wilson finished with four assists and no turnovers in Saturday’s win over Xavier, continuing a trend he established as a freshman with the program.
Wilson is currently ranked fourth in the BIG EAST in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7) and sixth in assists per game (4.1). He has finished a game with five-or-more assists on 10 occasions in 2013-14, including four of the last six outings.
For his career, Wilson owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.79, which translates into just one miscue every 22.7 minutes on the court.
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