MU Faces St. John's Wednesday In BIG EAST Tourney

Junior Jajuan Johnson is the only player with more than one game of BIG EAST tourney experience.
March 7, 2016

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TV: FS1 | Radio: 540 ESPN

The Marquette University men’s basketball team (19-12, 8-10 BIG EAST) has earned the No. 7 seed in the 2016 BIG EAST Tournament Presented by the Jeep brand and will face No. 10 seed St. John’s (8-23, 1-17 BIG EAST) at 8:30 p.m. CT on Wednesday, March 9 in Madison Square Garden. FS1 will feature the national television broadcast, with Gus Johnson (play-by-play), Bill Raftery (analyst) and Molly McGrath (reporter) calling the action. Wednesday’s winner will advance to face. No. 2 seed Xavier at 6 p.m. CT on Thursday, March 10 on FS1.

MU Looking To Continue BIG EAST Tourney Streak

Since Marquette joined the BIG EAST Conference in 2005-06, MU is the only program to have reached at least the quarterfinals of the tournament every year.

The Last Meeting
Marquette78
St. John's73
January 24, 2016
Queens, N.Y.
Golden Eagles Claim Road Win Over St. John's, 78-73
Sophomore Duane Wilson tallied a game-high 17 points, while freshman Henry Ellenson totaled his 11th double-double of the season and Marquette was able to hang on for the 78-73 win over St. John's inside Carnesseca Arena on Sunday.

The Golden Eagles have advanced to the semifinals twice (lost to Pittsburgh in 2007-08 and Georgetown in 2009-10) since joining the conference. Marquette is 9-10 all-time in its 10 previous appearances in the event, but has yet to play in the championship game.

Marquette has posted an overall record of 21-25 in league tourneys since joining the Midwestern Collegiate Conference (MCC) in 1989-90. MU was 0-2 in the MCC, 2-4 in the Great Midwest Conference and 10-9 in Conference USA.

Series With St. John’s Contains Plenty Of History

Marquette leads the all-time series (17-10) with St. John’s and has claimed victories in 15 of the previous 20 outings.

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.

Henry Ellenson, Cheatham Claim All-League Accolades

Forward Henry Ellenson, a candidate for the BIG EAST Freshman of the Year and All-America honors, has been named All-BIG EAST First Team and also claimed a spot on the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team (unanimous selection). Guard Haanif Cheatham also earned a selection to the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team after a stellar debut campaign with the Golden Eagles.

Ellenson is the first freshman on the first team since Carmelo Anthony of Syracuse in 2002-03. The eight-time BIG EAST rookie of the week selection is one of five finalists for the Wayman Tisdale Award, presented to the nation’s top first-year player by the United States Basketball Writers Association. The Rice Lake, Wisconsin native concluded the regular season ranked third in the league in scoring (16.8 ppg.) and first in rebounding (9.8 rpg.).

Cheatham has started each of the team’s 31 games and in just under 30 minutes per night is contributing 11.5 points, 3.5 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. In BIG EAST contests, he is ranked 17th in the league in scoring (12.3 ppg.) and third in free throw percentage (.855). The Ft. Lauderdale, Florida native reached double figures in points in 13 conference outings (18 overall) and is currently ranked in the top-10 in eight categories in the program’s single-season listing for freshmen.

Cohen III Provides Bench Production At Butler

Sophomore guard Sandy Cohen III chipped in 11 points, three rebounds, one assist and a block in 30 minutes off the bench at Butler.

The Seymour, Wisconsin native’s point total marked his highest since netting 11 points at Georgetown on Jan. 2. He finished 3-of-7 from the field and knocked down a pair of 3-point field goal attempts. Cohen III’s 30 minutes of action were his most since he played 36 in a starting assignment at Villanova on Jan. 13.

For the season, Cohen III is contributing 6.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game and owns 15 starting assignments in 30 appearances.


 

 

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