Men’s basketball prepares to host I-94 rival

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Markus Howard (0) drives toward the basket in Marquette's 79-69 win over DePaul Jan. 23, 2019 at Fiserv Forum. (Marquette Wire stock photo.)

After a 84-82 thriller in double overtime Wednesday at Xavier, Marquette (15-6, 5-4 BIG EAST) returns to Fiserv Forum to face DePaul Saturday at 1 p.m.

The Blue Demons are currently on a three-game losing streak and round out the conference with a 1-7 conference record. According to DePaul’s NCAA Evaluation Tool (NET) team sheet, the Blue Demons rank 91st in NET rankings and are 4-5 against Quadrant One opponents this season.

DePaul is coming off a 64-57 loss to then-No. 10 Seton Hall Wednesday. Despite a slow start, the Blue Demons led by nine early in the second half. However, a DePaul turnover at the 5:28 mark was converted into a fast break for Myles Powell, changing the momentum and giving the Pirates a 53-51 lead. From then on, Seton Hall never relinquished the lead and won its 10th consecutive game. Junior guard Charlie Moore led the way for DePaul with a team-high 14 points and three steals, four assists and four rebounds. Junior forward Paul Reed added a team-high seven rebounds and six points.

Meanwhile, Marquette its returning to Milwaukee after an exciting victory at the Cintas Center. Without the nation’s leading scorer Markus Howard, who left the game at the 12:05 mark in the second half due to a head injury, it was redshirt senior Sacar Anim with a career-high 28 points who led the Golden Eagles in the win. Koby McEwen contributed 18 points and shot 9-for-11 from the free throw line.

Fun Facts

  • Howard leads the nation with 27.4 points per game and scored his 2,500th career point in Wednesday’s win. He became the 72nd player in NCAA history to reach the mark and is 14 points away from his brother Jordan, who had 2,524 career points.
  • Jordan and Markus have a combined 5,034 points and are the No. 1 brother duo in NCAA history. They surpassed Seth and Stephen Curry, who possess 4,736 points, back Dec. 20 against North Dakota State.
  • DePaul was picked 10th in the BIG EAST Coaches Poll.
  • After adding Dawson Garcia, Osasere Ighodaro and Justin Lewis, according to 247Sports, MU’s recruiting Class of 2020 is the 10th best in the country. ESPN has the class ranked as 16th-best in the nation.
  • The Blue Demons are 4-3 in away games this season and their only conference win was over then-No. 5 Butler Jan. 18 at Wintrust Arena. BIG EAST home teams during league matchups this season combine for an overall record of 20-12.

A Look Back

  • This is the 126th meeting between the I-94 rivals. The series dates back to the 1917-18 season.
  • Marquette leads the all-time series 78-47 and the Golden Eagles are 44-14 when in Milwaukee.
  • MU has claimed 14 of the past 17 matchups.
  • DePaul and Marquette have been in the same league since the 1991-92 season, sharing affiliations with the Great Midwest Conference, Conference USA and BIG EAST Conference. In program history, the Golden Eagles have only faced in-state foe Wisconsin on more occasions.
  • Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski is 8-3 against the Blue Demons in his six-year tenure.

Key Players

  • Moore paces the BIG EAST with 6.57 assists per game and is tied for eighth in the conference with Kamar Baldwin, scoring 16 points a game. He also steals the ball 1.86 times per game, which ranks 3rd best in the league.
  • Reed leads the conference in rebounding with 11.1 rebounds per game, having 64 offensive and 169 defensive rebounds. He also ranks second with 2.86 blocks per game, which is right above Theo John and 10th for scoring.
  • Jaylen Butz comes in at 27th on the scoring leaderboard with 10.8 points per game and also is third in shooting percentage, going 87-for-144.
  • Anim is 15th-best with 13.7 point per game and set season records Wednesday with a career-high 28 points and season-highs in minutes and 3-pointers made.
  •  In 30 minutes off the bench, Jamal Cain recorded a team-high nine rebounds and contributed two points and a block Wednesday.

Keys to the Game

  • Marquette: Force DePaul to shoot from downtown. The Blue Demons are worst in the conference with 6.05 3-pointers per game. MU leads the conference shooting 39% from beyond the arc.
  • DePaul: Have a block party. The Blue Demons rank second-best in the BIG EAST with 116 total blocks and 5.52 blocks per game. As Marquette paces the conference with 78.4 points per game, it’s crucial to deflect the Golden Eagles’ shots.

 

This story was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at isabel.comerford@marquette.edu and on Twitter @zoe_comerford.