Marquette Hosts St. John's Tuesday On Al's Night
Feb. 20, 2017
TV Info: FS1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
Marquette Hosts St. John’s For Annual Al’s Night
Marquette leads the all-time series (18-11) with St. John’s, but the Red Storm claimed the most recent meeting on Feb. 1 in Madison Square Garden.
The Red Storm posted an 86-72 victory in the first game of the home-and-home series. Junior guard Andrew Rowsey led the team with 21 points off the bench, but Marquette shot just 37.1 percent from the floor.
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. The next season, St. John’s 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 1951 season with a 26-5 record.
McGuire’s coaching career at Marquette included the 1977 national title, nine NCAA tournament appearances and a 295-80 overall record.
Howard Has National Marquette Day To Remember
Freshman guard Markus Howard will always remember his first National Marquette Day game following his record-tying performance in the victory over Xavier.
The Chandler, Arizona native finished with a career-best 34 points, thanks in large part to a 9-of-12 effort from behind the 3-point line. Only Howard and Mark Anglavar, who was in attendance as part of the program’s 100-year celebration, have knocked down nine treys in a game. Anglavar accomplished the feat on Feb. 1, 1990 against Butler.
Howard was 11-of-18 from the floor overall and also chipped in four rebounds and three assists in just 29 minutes of action. For his efforts, he was named the BIG EAST Conference Freshman of the Week, an accolade he also earned on Jan. 16.
30-Point Performance Puts Howard In Rare Company
Since freshman eligibility was reinstated in 1972-73, Marquette has had a total of 45 30-or-more point performances by 24 different players.
With his 34-point effort on Saturday against Xavier, guard Markus Howard joined Henry Ellenson (32 vs. Butler, 2015-16) as the only true freshmen to reach that mark for MU. Junior guard Duane Wilson netted 30 points against Tennessee during the 2014 Orlando Classic, but he redshirted in 2012-14 after suffering a preseason leg injury.
Travis Diener, currently a member of the MU coaching staff, finished with at least 30 points six times during his career.
Cheatham Responds With Strong Performance
Sophomore guard Haanif Cheatham came off the bench for the first time in his 59-game career and responded with a solid all-around performance.
He reached double figures in points for just the second time in the last seven games, chipping in 15 points and eight rebounds in 26 minutes. He finished 5-of-9 from the floor and 5-of-6 from the charity stripe. His eight boards matched a season high and he now ranks third on the roster in that category (4.6 rpg.).
Lineup Change Gives MU Advantage From Jump
Marquette had featured the same starting lineup for 13-straight games, but recent struggles at both ends prompted a change from the coaching staff.
Newcomers to the starting five Duane Wilson, Andrew Rowsey and Matt Heldt joined Markus Howard and Sam Hauser on the court for the opening tip. The group came out of the locker room firing on all cylinders and the result was a 17-2 Marquette lead before the first substitution was made.
Marquette has now used a total of seven different starting lineups in 2016-17.
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