Marquette Travels To Creighton Wednesday Night
Feb. 22, 2016
TV: CBS Sports Network | Radio: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (17-10, 6-8 BIG EAST) wraps up a two-game road swing at Creighton (17-10, 8-6 BIG EAST) on Wednesday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m. CT. CBS Sports Network will feature the national television broadcast, with Carter Blackburn (play-by-play) and Pete Gillen (analyst) calling the action from the CenturyLink Center. The Golden Eagles and Blue Jays will be meeting for the second time in three outings for both programs, which have both enjoyed a bye week during league play since the Feb. 13 matchup at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Following Wednesday night’s contest, Marquette will return home to host No. 1/1 Villanova on the Al McGuire Court.
Marquette-Creighton Series Dates Back To 1922-23
While Marquette and Creighton are meeting for the just the third season in BIG EAST Conference play, the two programs are very familiar with each other.
The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series 49-32, but Creighton has claimed two of the last three outings. The two teams split the home-and-home series in 2014-15, with each squad winning on its respective home court, and the Blue Jays were able to rally for a 65-62 decision in Milwaukee on Feb. 13. Freshman forward Henry Ellenson led four players in double figures with 16 points for Marquette. Prior to 2013-14, the most recent meeting between the two programs 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 22 of the last 30 outings, including 10-straight between 1975 and 1984.
MU Taking Better Care Of Ball, Especially In Second Half
Marquette has claimed two of its last three outings, thanks in part to the team’s ability to cut down on turnovers, especially in the second half.
The Golden Eagles have stayed below their season average of 15.1 miscues per game in each of the last three games, taking extremely good care of the ball following intermission. Since the double-overtime win against Providence on Feb. 10, MU is averaging just 4.3 turnovers per outing in the second half and that includes the 10 bonus minutes versus the Friars. In the Feb. 13 setback against Creighton, MU committed just a pair of turnovers in the final 20 minutes of action.
Marquette Looking For Bench Help In Recent Outings
While the return of sophomore Duane Wilson and junior Jajuan Johnson to the starting lineup eight games ago added some experience to the starting unit, the team is now lacking in bench production. Since the Jan. 24 victory at St. John’s, the starters are accounting for 86.3 percent of the team’s points and 75.2 percent of its rebounding production. Of the five players to see extended action in those outings off the bench, freshman Traci Carter is responsible for 63.1 percent of the reserve corps scoring and sophomore Sandy Cohen III owns 43.8 percent of the group’s contributions on the boards.
In Saturday’s victory at DePaul, four of five starters finished with double figures in points and collected 66-of-73 points (90.4 percent) and 90.0 percent (27-of-30) of the squad’s boards.
MU has featured the same starting lineup (Cheatham, Wilson, Johnson, H. Ellenson and Fischer) for each of the eight games and the team is 5-3 during that time span.
Cheatham Making Name For Himself In BIG EAST Play
Guard Haanif Cheatham is one of the top newcomers in the BIG EAST Conference and has stepped up his production since the start of league action.
Through games of Feb. 21, the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, native is ranked among the league leaders in scoring (14th, 12.9 ppg.) and free throw percentage (5th, .839) in conference outings. His scoring average in 14 outings is second on the team, thanks in large part to scoring 20-or-more points in three of the team’s last four outings. In those games, he contributed 18.3 points and 4.0 rebounds per game while shooting 55.0 percent (22-of-40) from the field overall and 8-of-16 (50.0 percent) from behind the 3-point line. He also knocked down 84.0 percent (21-of-25) of his charity tosses in those contests.
Cheatham has reached double figures in points on 17 occasions this season, including 10 of the team’s 14 BIG EAST matchups. He was named to the BIG EAST Honor Roll on Feb. 22 after finishing with 20 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the victory at DePaul.
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