BASELINE: Prosper bounces back in Marquette’s win over NC Central

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Photo by Keifer Russell

Junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper (12) guards a NC Central player in men’s basketball’s 90-78 win Dec. 6 at Fiserv Forum.

After dropping Saturday’s in-state rivalry game to Wisconsin in overtime, the Marquette men’s basketball team returned to Fiserv Forum Wednesday night to host the NC Central Eagles.

The Golden Eagles defeated the Eagles in dominant fashion by a score of 90-78.

Here is a breakdown of Marquette’s bounce-back win:

Game MVP:

Marquette entered the night with a 6-1 record when junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper reached double-figure points. The Golden Eagles improved to 7-1 after Tuesday’s victory as Prosper finished with 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting with four rebonds and two assists.

There was a stretch in the first half where Prosper went on a 10-0 personal scoring run.

“He did a great job getting to the paint and getting high quality shots for us to go 11-for-14 (from the field) was huge,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “I thought the difference for him offensively tonight vs Saturday (against Wisconsin) was he got to the paint way more.”

Over the last four games, Prosper has averaged 20.3 points.

Notes:

  • Marquette hit each of its first 11 shots from the field to open up the night. The Golden Eagles first miss came on a 3-point attempt from sophomore forward David Joplin at the 11:14 mark.
  • The Golden Eagles defense held the Eagles to shoot 35.3% from the field in the first half.
  • Marquette shot 75.9% in the first half, it’s best mark since 72.4 percent against Western Carolina on Nov. 30, 2016.
  • Junior forward Oso Ighodaro racked up five assists before the under-16 media timeout. He finished with a career-high seven dishes.
  • Sophomore guard Kam Jones recorded his first collegiate career dunk. Jones finished with 16 points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal.
  • First-year guard Chase Ross has now scored eight points in four of the last five outings.

Quote of the Day:

Smart commented on Jones’ first career dunk postgame.

“It was technically a dunk but since he didn’t flex the rim, I don’t know maybe half a dunk,” Smart said.

Injury Update:

Senior forward Zach Wrightsil missed his sixth straight game with knee soreness.

Next Up:

Marquette (7-3) will now travel to South Bend, Indiana to face Notre Dame Sunday at 3:30 p.m. CST for its non-conference finale. It is the first time both teams will square off since the Irish defeated the Golden Eagles 73-65 in the Big East Tournament March 14, 2013.

This article was written by John Leuzzi. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @JohnLeuzziMU.