No. 15/17 Marquette Travels To Rutgers Tuesday Night
March 4, 2013
TV Info: BIG EAST Network/ESPN3 | Radio: 540 ESPN
Network Clearances: SNY (New York), MASN (Washington, DC-Baltimore), Brighthouse (Tampa-Orlando), SNY-CT (Hartford), Sports32 (Milwaukee-Green Bay), FSN-Ohio (Cincinnati), Cox-NO (New Orleans)
The No. 15/17 Marquette University men’s basketball team (21-7, 12-4 BIG EAST) opens a two-game road swing Tuesday night when the squad travels to Rutgers (13-14, 4-12 BIG EAST) at 6 p.m. CT. The BIG EAST Network will feature the television broadcast, with Scott Graham (play-by-play) and John Celestand (analyst) calling the action. Following the matchup with the Scarlet Knights, the Golden Eagles conclude the regular season at St. John’s on Saturday, March 9 at Madison Square Garden.
Marquette Claims Double Bye, In Hunt For Title
Marquette enters the final week of the regular season one game behind league-leading Georgetown in the race for the BIG EAST Conference title.
The victory over Notre Dame assured MU of a double bye in the league tourney for the second-straight year. The team still has a chance to match its best-ever win total (14) in BIG EAST play, which it set in 2011-12.
Since the league expanded in 2005-06, Marquette is the only program in the conference to advance to at least the quarterfinals of the BIG EAST Conference Championship in each of those campaigns.
The Golden Eagles were picked to finish seventh in the preseason poll.
Limited Series With Rutgers Began In 2005-06
Marquette and Rutgers have met just seven times in the all-time series and the Golden Eagles own a 6-1 advantage in those matchups.
The two programs first met during the 2005-06 campaign, when MU joined the BIG EAST Conference. The Scarlet Knights claimed a 91-84 victory that season in the Rutgers Athletic Center, but the Golden Eagles have since then claimed six-straight victories. The most recent decision was an 82-65 Marquette win on Feb. 22, 2012 in the BMO Harris Bradley Center.
MU Frontcourt The Model Of Efficiency
Gardner netted a personal-best 26 points in the win over Syracuse on Feb. 25, finishing 7-of-7 from the field. Not to be outdone, Otule followed that up with an 8-of-8 effort from the floor en route to a 16-point night in the victory over Notre Dame Saturday afternoon. The Richmond, Texas, native also chipped in four rebounds, two blocks and an assist in 25 minutes.
In the previous two outings, Gardner and Otule are 17-of-18 from the field, 13-of-15 from the free throw line and have grabbed 18 total rebounds. The duo has combined this season to shoot 169-of-277 (61.0 percent) from the floor.
Jamil Wilson’s Consistency Key In Recent Outings
Junior forward Jamil Wilson matched a personal best of 19 points in the win over Notre Dame, continuing a recent trent of offensive success.
The Racine, Wis., native has reached double figures in points in seven of the team’s last eight outings and is contributing 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds per contest in those games. He is shooting 47.5 percent (29-of-61) from the field overall and 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from long distance since the Feb. 6 victory at USF.
In the team’s first 20 games of the 2012-13 campaign, Wilson reached double figures on a total of just eight occasions.
Gardner Candidate For League’s Top Sixth Man
Junior Davante Gardner is ranked among the league leaders in three categories, despite coming off the bench in every game this season (21.3 minutes per appearance).
The Suffolk, Va., native’s value was on full display in the victory over Syracuse. He finished with a career-best 26 points in 33 minutes (season high) off the bench. Gardner was a perfect 7-of-7 from the floor and also knocked down 12-of-13 from the charity stripe. He also found time to chip in eight rebounds and two assists.
Gardner is 28th in the BIG EAST in scoring (11.9 ppg.), fourth in field goal percentage (.573) and fourth in free throw percentage (.857) through games of March 3.
In league games only, Gardner ranks second in field goal percentage (.554) and free throw percentage (.879). He is on pace to finish in the top-10 in the MU season record book in both categories.