Marquette Hosts Maine Saturday At 1:30 p.m. CT

Freshman Matt Heldt netted a personal-best four points against Grambling State.
Dec. 3, 2015

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The Marquette University men’s basketball team (5-2, 0-0 BIG EAST) continues its season-long four-game homestand at 1:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 5 when the program welcomes Maine (2-4, 0-0 America East) to the BMO Harris Bradley Center. FS Wisconsin will feature the television broadcast, with Vince Welch (play-by-play) and Dickey Simpkins (analyst) calling the action. Following Saturday’s action, the Golden Eagles will wrap up their run at home with a 7 p.m. CT outing against San Jose State on Tuesday, Dec. 8. The matchup between Marquette and the Spartans will be the first since 1954.

MU Owns Series Lead, But Dropped Last Matchup

The Golden Eagles have claimed three of the four all-time meetings with Maine, but dropped the most recent matchup 68-59 on Feb. 5, 1997 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

The brief series began during the 1978-79 campaign and resulted in a 57-46 victory for Marquette on the road. Each of the last three contests have come in Milwaukee. The two programs also met in 1979-80 and 1981-82, with MU claiming victories in both outings under head coach Hank Raymonds.

Marquette owns an overall record of 12-1 against teams currently in the America East Conference, with the lone setback obviously coming against the Black Bears. MU has also taken on Hartford (3-0), Maryland-Baltimore County (4-0), New Hampshire (1-0) and Vermont (1-0).

Improved Shooting Touch Key During Win Streak

The Golden Eagles are in the midst of a four-game winning streak, thanks in large part to an improved shooting touch.

During the streak, Marquette is shooting 50.9 percent (118-of-232) from the floor and 32-of-80 (40.0 percent) from behind the 3-point line. Both of those numbers are well above the season averages of 47.1 and 31.4 percent, respectively. The team’s defensive effort has been just as important, holding opposing squads to just 34.7 percent from the field and 65.8 points per game (down from season average of 72.3 ppg.).

Marquette hasn’t won five-consecutive games since the Elite Eight campaign of 2012-13. That season MU won six-straight from Dec. 22 until Jan. 16, a span that concluded non-league play and the start of BIG EAST action.

Helping Hands Lead MU To Win Over Grambling State

Unselfish play has been a key component of the current winning streak and Wednesday night’s victory over Grambling State was a perfect example.

The Golden Eagles assisted on 30-of-34 (88.2 percent) made field goals, marking the team’s highest total since collecting 33 helpers versus the Tigers on Nov. 12, 2013. Eight different players had at least one assist and freshmen Traci Carter (10 assists) and Haanif Cheatham (six assists) both collected personal-best totals.

Through games of Dec. 2, Marquette ranks first in the BIG EAST Conference and 18th in the nation in assists per game (18.6). During the current win streak, that average jumps to 21.0 assists per contest.

Johnson Provides Bench Spark Against Tigers

Junior guard Jajuan Johnson, Marquette’s most experienced player, netted a team-best 20 points against Grambling State Wednesday night in just 19 minutes off the bench.

The Memphis, Tennessee native finished the game 8-of-9 from the floor overall and 4-of-4 from behind the 3-point line. His effort from long distance set a new career-high for made treys and he fell just two points shy of his personal-best total (22 vs. Arizona State, 12/16/14).

For the season, Johnson is contributing 8.4 points and 2.1 rebounds per contest while shooting 51.1 percent from the floor.




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