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Friared Up! Golden Eagles down No. 8/9 Providence

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Ellenson records ninth double-double in much-needed conference upset

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Friared Up! Golden Eagles down No. 8/9 Providence

(Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@mu.edu)

(Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@mu.edu)

(Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@mu.edu)

(Photo by Doug Peters/douglas.peters@mu.edu)

Three words describe Marquette’s thrilling upset of No. 8/9 Providence: consistency, inconsistency and euphoria.

The Golden Eagles (11-4 overall, 1-2 BIG EAST) marched into the Dunkin’ Donuts Center and defeated the Friars (14-2, 2-1) for the first time on their home court this season 65-64.

Despite losing the lead the Golden Eagles held a majority of the game, Marquette refused to back down. Duane Wilson scored on a layup with 31 seconds left to give Marquette a one-point lead and Ellenson blocked Kris Dunn’s last-second shot to solidify the Golden Eagles’ first BIG EAST victory and 12th in their last 14 games against the Friars.

Marquette was led by freshmen Haanif Cheatham and Henry Ellenson, who combined for 29 points, 14 rebounds, and three assists. Ellenson also had four blocks and three steals. Ellenson (13 points, 10 rebounds) recorded his ninth double-double of the season and his 12th straight game with double-digit scoring.

Marquette held a lead throughout the entire first half and didn’t relinquish it until 12:15 left in the second. The Friars opened the game 4-of-14 shooting, which allowed Marquette to storm to a 22-10 lead, their largest of the game. In the first eight minutes, Providence had seven turnovers, hadn’t made a three-pointer and was shooting 27.8 percent from the field. When the first half ended, both teams had combined for 22 turnovers, with the Golden Eagles leading 30-24.

Marquette was much stronger on the defensive end than against Georgetown, when the Hoyas shot just under 60 percent. They forced ten turnovers and held their own in the first half, until Ben Bentil took control in the second.

Bentil, who leads the BIG EAST with 18 points-per-game, finished with 28 points and nine rebounds. He converted on his first five field goals to open the second frame, and finished 10-10 from the charity stripe. Dunn, who turned the ball over seven times, finished with 20 points and seven assists, and was 3 of 5 from the three point line.

Marquette was in the double bonus with 14:35 left in the second, and for the next 8 minutes would only muster one field goal, a layup on a nice cut inside by Jajuan Johnson, which came in the middle of a 16-4 run by the Friars. The poor shooting was coupled with free throw shooting (22-of-43) and offensive rebounds (Two to Providence’s 13)  allowed the Friars to get back into the game.

The Golden Eagles woke up and answered with a run of their own, finishing the game by outshooting Providence, who led 58-50 with six minutes left, 15-6 to lock in the win.

Marquette will play next against St. John’s on Jan. 9, with tip-off scheduled for 1:00 p.m.

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