MU Wraps Up Regular Season At Butler Saturday
March 3, 2016
TV: FS Wisconsin, FS Arizona, FS Detroit, FS Florida, FS Midwest, FS Ohio, FS Southeast, FS Southwest, MASN 2, MSG Network, WCUU (Chicago).
The Marquette University men’s basketball team (19-11, 8-9 BIG EAST) concludes the 2015-16 regular season at Butler (20-9, 9-8 BIG EAST) Saturday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. CT in Hinkle Fieldhouse. FS Wisconsin will feature the television broadcast, with Alex Faust (play-by-play) and Vin Parise (analyst) calling the action. Saturday’s full slate of league games will determine the seeding for the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament, which begins Wednesday evening at Madison Square Garden.
Marquette-Butler Series Full Of History
The all-time series, which dates back to the 1922-23 campaign, is tied at 17-17 after Marquette’s 75-69 victory earlier this season at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
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 this year’s first meeting on Jan. 30, forward Henry Ellenson netted a career-best 32 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to lead the team in both categories. Guard Traci Carter added 15 points and five boards off the bench in 21 minutes of action.
BIG EAST Standings Far From Determined
With the BIG EAST regular season schedule entering its final day, there is still plenty to be figured out when it comes to the tournament seedings.
Four teams (including Marquette) are separated by just one game in the standings. Providence, Creighton and Butler are all currently 9-8 and the Golden Eagles own an 8-9 mark. In that group, Marquette could finish as high as fourth in the 10-team league thanks to certain tiebreakers and as low as eighth if it loses and the Hoyas win at Villanova.
The top three seeds (Villanova, Xavier, Seton Hall) are already determined, along with the bottom two positions (DePaul, St. John’s).
Fischer Scores Early & Late In Georgetown Victory
Junior center Luke Fischer took advantage of each of his 34 minutes of action Tuesday night against Georgetown, scoring the team’s first basket in the opening moments and capping the night with game-winning free throws with 1.2 seconds on the clock.
The Germantown, Wisconsin native finished with a career-best 23 points on 9-of-11 shooting from the field and a 5-of-6 effort from the free throw line. He made nine-straight shots, which allowed him to contribute 19 first-half points, and also chipped in five rebounds and an assist.
Fischer’s previous career-high of 22 points came versus Alabama A&M on Dec. 28, 2014. He scored 21 points in the Dec. 5 win over Maine, marking his previous season high.
Johnson Providing Consistent Scoring In Recent Games
Junior forward Jajuan Johnson has scored double figures in points in eight of the team’s last 10 games, including a personal-best run of four-straight after Tuesday night’s 15-point effort in the win over Georgetown.
Since the Jan. 27 win over Stetson 10 games ago, the Memphis, Tennessee native is chipping in 13.4 points, 4.5 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.8 steals per game in of 30.0 minutes per night. Even more impressive during that run is his efficiency from the field, where he has connected on 56.5 percent (52-of-92) of his shots overall, 45.5 percent (10-of-22) from long distance and 20-of-25 (80.0 percent) from the charity stripe.
Carter, Wilson Benefit From Lineup Adjustment
After featuring the same starting lineup for 10-straight games, head coach Steve Wojciechowski made a slight adjustment for the matchup versus Georgetown and inserted freshman guard Traci Carter into the unit for sophomore Duane Wilson.
Carter, who hadn’t reached double figures in points in the previous four games, finished with 11 points, seven assists and a steal in a career-high 37 minutes. He was 4-of-7 from the floor and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers. Wilson’s 14-point night included some clutch free throws down the stretch and he also found time to chip in three assists, a trio of boards and a pair of steals in 26 minutes off the bench.
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