BASELINE: Lewis bounces back in Marquette’s 88-56 upset win over No. 16 Providence

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Redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis (10) finishes off a dunk in Marquette men’s basketball’s 88-56 win over No. 16 Providence Jan. 4. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Entering the night on polar opposite sides of the BIG EAST conference, the Marquette men’s basketball team brushed aside a red hot No. 16 Providence Friars team 88-56 Tuesday night at Fiserv Forum.

It is the first BIG EAST win for head coach Shaka Smart and the Golden Eagles, ending their three game losing skid in conference play.

“Our guys took an unbelievable approach (tonight),” Smart said. “Our guys understand that, we need to lead with defense and have to play and pull for one another and there’s no other way. When we understand that, then we can be really good.”

Here’s a breakdown of the Golden Eagles’ win:

Game MVP: Justin Lewis

After scoring just nine points in Saturday’s double-overtime loss to Creighton, redshirt first-year forward Justin Lewis responded with a career performance.

The Baltimore, Maryland, native led the team in points and rebounds with 23 and 11 respectively while also going a perfect 7-for-7 from the free-throw line.

“I feel like (Justin) came at the game with a different approach,” graduate forward Kur Kuath said. “He came in with that energy and fed the team,”

Lewis notched his fourth career double double and fourth of the season.

Key Stats: 

  • Marquette’s bench outscored Providence’s bench 35-15 on the night.
  • The Golden Eagles shot 52.5% from the field on the night while holding the Friars to just 32.8%.
  • Providence turned over the ball 14 times in the contest.
  • Marquette shot 43.5% from beyond the arc on the night.
  • The Golden Eagles finished with 24 assists on 31 made baskets.

Notes: 

  • Tuesday night’s victory is the largest margin victory against a ranked opponent in program history.
  • Kuath recorded a career-high seven blocks on the night, with five coming in the first half.
  • After missing last game due to Health and Safety Protocols, first-year guard Kam Jones notched his fourth double-figure game of the season with 14 points. He went 4-for-5 from beyond the arc.
  • Redshirt first-year guard Tyler Kolek tied a career high nine assists marking the fifth time this season he has finished with eight or more assists in a game.
  • Providence senior center Nate Watson was held to eight points on the night.

Quote of the Day:

Smart praised Lewis for his rebounding efforts after Saturday’s loss to the Blue Jays.

“He’s one of a kind,” Smart said. “That’s the sign of a guy who’s growing maturity wise,”

Next Game:

Marquette (8-6, 0-3 BIG EAST) will head to the Nation’s capital to take on Georgetown (13-1, 3-0) Jan 7. Tip off between the Golden Eagles and Hoyas is scheduled for 6:30 CST in the Capital One Arena.

This article was written by Benjamin Wells. He can be reached at benjamin.wells@marquette.edu or on Twitter @beananan.