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PREVIEW: Marquette looks to end skid against Providence on National Marquette Day

Matt+Heldt+scored+six+points+on+3-of-3+shooting+and+had+a+vital+block+in+Marquette%27s+72-69+BIG+EAST+Tournament+win+vs.+DePaul+%28Wire+stock+photo%29.
Matt Heldt scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting and had a vital block in Marquette's 72-69 BIG EAST Tournament win vs. DePaul (Wire stock photo).

Matt Heldt scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting and had a vital block in Marquette's 72-69 BIG EAST Tournament win vs. DePaul (Wire stock photo).

Matt Heldt scored six points on 3-of-3 shooting and had a vital block in Marquette's 72-69 BIG EAST Tournament win vs. DePaul (Wire stock photo).

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The Golden Eagles will look to end a three-game skid Saturday afternoon as they host Providence in a pivotal BIG EAST matchup at the BMO Harris Bradley Center. Two of the three losses have come against nationally-ranked Xavier and Villanova squads.

 

SIMILAR SHAPE AND FORM

The last time Marquette and Providence met, sophomore Markus Howard’s legendary 52-point performance helped the Golden Eagles steal an overtime road victory in Rhode Island. Both teams are still on the NCAA Tournament bubble. The Friars (14-8, 5-4 in BIG EAST) came off of a tough 73-57 loss on the road at Seton Hall on Wednesday; a loss in which they shot just 39 percent from the floor. Sophomore guard Alpha Diallo led the Friars in scoring with a career-high 25 points.

Meanwhile, the Golden Eagles (13-9, 4-6 in BIG EAST) came off a 20-point beatdown at the hands of Tyler Wiedeman and Butler. Howard dropped a team-high 26 points in the loss.

However, Providence excels where Marquette does not. The Friars are in second place in scoring defense, giving up 75.4 points per game in conference play, while the Golden Eagles are dead last, averaging 82.2 points per game allowed.

 

PROTECTING THE PAINT

The Friars will likely try to beat Marquette in the paint. In the last three games, the Golden Eagles have allowed an average of 40.7 points in the paint per game. Providence will likely try to take advantage, as the Friars are averaging 30.7 paint points per game over the last three.

Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said Wednesday that Marquette struggled to find any rhythm and the inability to make timely stops put them in a hole they could not recover from.

“We did not handle any facet of the game well,” Wojo said. “In the BIG EAST, you have to be able to pick yourself off the canvas because we have a great Providence team coming in.”

 

GETTING BACK TO BASICS

Marquette will look to get back to its bread and butter Saturday — lighting up the scoreboard. To accomplish that, the Golden Eagles will need contributions from senior Andrew Rowsey, who finished scoreless against Butler Wednesday night.

Meanwhile, it will be crucial that Marquette returns to an accurate 3-point shooting form. The Golden Eagles shot 5 of 18 from distance.

Wojo said he knows how vital this game is but is telling his team not to get too emotionally high or low.

“The waves keep coming and are continuing to come to shore,” Wojo said. “You can’t stay too long in something that has happened that’s really good, and you can’t stay too long and something that’s happened that’s obviously not very good.”

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