Marquette Hosts No. 6 Xavier Wednesday Night at 7:30 p.m.

Dec. 26, 2017

The Marquette University men’s basketball team (9-3, 0-0 BIG EAST) faces Nov. 6/9 Xavier (12-1, 0-0 BIG EAST) on Wednesday, Dec. 27 at 7:30 p.m. CT in the BIG EAST Conference lidlifter for both programs. FS1 will feature the program’s 11th national television broadcast, with Brian Anderson (play-by-play) and Bill Raftery (analyst) calling the action. Following Wednesday’s action, the Golden Eagles will wrap up a four-game homestand Saturday afternoon versus Georgetown.

Marquette’s Series With Xavier Has Long History

Marquette and Xavier will meet for the 72nd time on Wednesday evening, continuing a series that spans nearly half of the program’s 100-year history.

The Last Meeting
Marquette95
Xavier84
March 1, 2017
Cincinnati, Ohio
Marquette downs Xavier, 95-84, to complete sweep
Marquette completed the season sweep over Xavier on Wednesday evening with a 95-84 win at the Cintas Center.

The Golden Eagles own a 49-22 overall lead in matchups that date back to the 1958-59 campaign. MU dominated the pairings during the Al McGuire and Hank Raymonds era, at one point claiming 26-straight victories between 1969 and 1983. The lone NCAA tournament meeting came in 2010-11 and resulted in a 66-55 Marquette win in the opening round and started the team’s run to a Sweet 16 appearance. XU posted a 67-63 win over MU at home in the 2000 National Invitation Tournament.

MU swept the season series in 2016-17, but previous to that Xavier had claimed six straight. In last year’s matchup at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, guard Markus Howard matched a then school record with nine 3-pointers in an 83-61 victory over XU. He finished with 34 points, thanks in large part to a 9-of-12 effort from behind the 3-point line.

MU Hopes For Quick Start To League Play

The Golden Eagles are 17-11 all-time in conference openers, including a 6-6 mark in BIG EAST Conference action.

Marquette didn’t begin league affiliation until joining the Midwestern Collegiate Conference in 1989-90. The 1991-92 campaign was the first in the Great Midwest Conference and a stop in Conference USA preceeded the move to the BIG EAST in 2005-06.


 

 

News & Notes: Double Digits Key To Team Success

  • Howard, Rowsey and forward Sam Hauser have all reached double figures in each of the last four games. Marquette is 7-1 when the trio nets 10-or-more points in 2017-18. Howard and Rowsey have both netted at least 10 in every outing this year.
  • Markus Howard, who is a perfect 36-of-36 from the free throw line in 2017-18, has made 45-straight charity tosses dating back to last season’s home finale against Creighton on March 4. Among players who meet the NCAA statistical minimum (2.5 made per game), only Howard and Fletcher Magee of Wofford (29-of-29) have yet to miss this year.
  • Marquette features the league’s top two scorers through games of Dec. 26. Sophomore guard Markus Howard tops the league with 21.8 points per game (22nd in nation) and senior guard Andrew Rowsey is second at 20.7 points per contest (19th in nation). Xavier’s Trevon Bluiett checks in at 19.8 points per game, which is the fourth-best mark in the BIG EAST.
  • Wednesday night’s matchup will feature two of the better free throw shooting teams in the country. Xavier currently leads the BIG EAST at 79.8 percent (4th in nation) and Marquette is second at 78.4 percent (10th in nation).
  • Howard’s 96 points in a three-game span (Chicago State, Georgia, Vermont) were the most by an MU player since Tony Smith netted 97 in three-straight outings against Evansville, Detroit and Butler in 1989-90. He has scored 20-or-more points in five-straight outings, the most by a Marquette player since Jerel McNeal in 2008-09 (nine straight).

Defense Has Been Difference During Winning Streak

Marquette’s powerful offensive attack gets a majority of the headlines, but the team’s defensive effort has been just a critical during the current four-game winning streak.

Over the course of the last four games, MU’s opponents have combined to shoot just 41.2 percent from the field overall while turning the ball over an average of 15.3 times per night. For the year, Marquette’s opponents are shooting 46.1 percent from the floor through 12 contests and 33.3 percent from behind the line.

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