Marquette Travels To No. 23/23 Butler Wednesday
Feb. 23, 2015
TV Info: FOX Sports 1 | Radio Info: 540 ESPN
The Marquette University men's basketball team (11-15, 3-11 BIG EAST) opens a two-game BIG EAST Conference road swing at No. 23/23 Butler (19-8, 9-5 BIG EAST) Wednesday night at 7 p.m. CT. FOX Sports 1 will feature the squad's 23rd national television broadcast of the campaign, with Cory Provus (play-by-play) and Ron Thompson (analyst) calling the action from historic Hinkle Fieldhouse. Following Wednesday's matchup, MU will travel to Providence (March 1) before concluding the regular season with a pair of home contests.
Marquette-Butler Series Full Of History
The all-time series, which dates back to the 1922-23 campaign, is now tied 16-16 after Butler's 72-68 win in overtime on Jan. 31.
MU claimed the first-ever meeting 18-17 on Dec. 16, 1922, only to see the Bulldogs claim the next nine matchups. Marquette also collected a nine-game win streak between 1942 and 1990, with the last two contests during that run coming when both programs were members of the Midwestern Collegiate Conference.
Following Marquette's move to the Great Midwest Conference in 1991-92, the two teams wouldn't meet until Butler beat the Golden Eagles at the buzzer in the opening game of the 2012 Maui Invitational. MU would return the favor in the 2013 NCAA tournament, downing the Bulldogs 74-72 in the closing seconds to earn a trip to the squad's third-straight Sweet 16 appearance.
In the first matchup of the season, Butler rallied from down eight points with just over two minutes left to claim the overtime victory. Forward Andrew Chrabascz led the way for the Bulldogs with 30 points and both Duane Wilson and Matt Carlino scored 18 points for Marquette.
Shorthanded Lineup Battles In Loss To Villanova
Marquette's starting lineup, the seventh-different combination of the campaign, featured two freshmen and two sophomores. The Golden Eagles battled through foul trouble the entire contest and when Luke Fischer fouled out in the closing minutes, walk-on Michael Mache was forced to make his Marquette debut.
Carlino and Anderson are questionable to return to the lineup Wednesday night at No. 23/23 Butler.
Marquette's Defense Continues To Force Turnovers
Marquette's variety of defensive approaches hasn't slowed the squad's ability to create turnovers via the steal.
Through games of Feb. 22, the Golden Eagles rank first in the BIG EAST and 23rd in the nation in steals per game (8.0). Those efforts have allowed the team to force 14.3 turnovers per game, also the second-best mark in the league.
MU currently features four players ranked among the league leaders in thefts. Matt Carlino (7th, 1.5 spg.), Juan Anderson (11th, 1.4 spg.), Duane Wilson (13th, 1.2 spg.) and Derrick Wilson (14th, 1.2 spg.) have been the defensive leaders all season long.
Johnson Dials Long Distance Against Villanova
Sophomore guard Jajuan Johnson matched his career-high with 36 minutes played on Saturday against Villanova and responded with a team-best 20 points.
The Memphis, Tennesee, native finished 6-of-12 from the field, including a 3-of-6 effort from behind the 3-point line. His trio of triples matched his total from the previous 11 games combined and matched a personal best (vs. Cal State Fullerton, 11/28/13).
Johnson also found time to chip in five assists (equaled career high), two rebounds and a steal.
Derrick Wilson Continues To Value Possessions
Senior guard Derrick Wilson has always valued possession of the ball during his career and his final campaign in 2014-15 has continued that trend.
Through games of Feb. 22, Wilson is ranked first in the BIG EAST and 17th in the nation in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.9). He has turned the ball over more than twice in a single game on just three occasions this year. In Saturday's loss to Villanova, Wilson finished with 10 points, eight assists, four rebounds, one block and a steal in 40 minutes of action.
Wilson concluded 2013-14 ranked 19th in the nation and second in the BIG EAST in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.8) and fourth in assists per game (4.2).
For his career (126 appearances), Wilson owns an assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.87, which translates into just one miscue every 22.6 minutes on the court.
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