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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 20 Marquette defeats Providence and pays homage to 2003 Final Four team

(Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

As the 2003 Final Four team looked on, the No. 20 Marquette men’s basketball team soared to a victory on Wednesday night, defeating the No. 22 Providence Friars 83-75 in Fiserv Forum.

“Heck of a night for Marquette,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said. “I thought our guys did a terrific job of trying to lock in on the ‘how’ of what we wanted to try and go do. It’s a really good win for us tonight.”

Providence got on the board first in this contest with a made layup from sophomore forward Bryce Hopkins. Marquette would respond on the other end as junior guard Tyler Kolek made a layup of his own.

The two teams traded baskets for most of the half until Providence went on a 7-0 run with contributions from Hopkins and junior guard Alyn Breed to make the score 18-14.

Marquette’s offense would respond with an 11-2 run of its own to gain its largest lead of the half at 11 points with 3:22 left to go. The Friars would fight back to get within seven points heading into the locker room.

The Golden Eagles shot 51.9% from the field compared to the Friars’ 48.3%. Providence out-rebounded Marquette 18-13 with seven of those rebounds being offensive.

Marquette scored first to begin the second half as sophomore guard Stevie Mitchell stole the ball, which lead to a made three-pointer by sophomore guard Kam Jones. Providence would respond with a made layup by red-shirt senior forward Ed Croswell.

Both teams continued to trade baskets, but junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper’s dunk at the 15:01 mark extended Marquette’s lead to 14 points going into the first media timeout.

Providence would get as close as five points, but Marquette’s offense remained hot as it cruised through the rest of the contest.

Marquette shot 57.1% from the field compared to Providence’s 46.9%. The Golden Eagles shot 42.1% from beyond the arc, while the Friars’ shot 22.2%.

“The second half was choppy down the stretch,” Smart said. “It’s a hard game to officiate. We were able to slow them down with changes in defenses, but they had a tough team. There’s a lot of growth that we can make from this game.”

Jones led all Marquette scorers with 21 points on 8-for-14 shooting. He scored 18 points in the second half alone and finished shooting 50% from beyond the arc.

“He holds himself to a really high standard,” Smart said. “He wants to help his team. He’s really connected with his teammates. The guy scores in bunches. I think he’s really growing.”

Three other Marquette players also finished in double figures with Kolek, Prosper and junior forward Oso Ighodaro netting 19, 13 and 10 points respectively.

Hopkins earned his seventh double-double of the season, recording 19 points and 10 rebounds. Croswell and sophomore guard Devin Carter also added 19 and 18 points respectively.

The 2003 Final Four team was honored at halftime in this contest. Smart spoke on how impactful former Marquette guard Dwyane Wade’s message was to his team before the game.

“His message was really powerful,” Smart said. “It’s amazing because on one hand, he’s a global icon. On the other hand, he’s one of the more real people I’ve ever met. He’s got a lot of pride in this place, and it means a lot to our team.”

Marquette (15-5, 7-2 Big East) will go on the road to face Seton Hall (12-8, 5-4 Big East) in South Orange, New Jersey Jan. 21 at 3 p.m. CST. Tip-off is set for 3 p.m. CST and will be streamed on CBS Sports Network.

“We’re learning and growing every day,” Jones said. “This team and the belief we have in each other, we can play with anybody. We’re not scared of anybody.”

This article was written by Kaylynn Wright. She can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @KaylynnWrightMU.

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About the Contributor
Kaylynn Wright, Assistant Sports Editor
Kaylynn Wright is a sophomore from Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin studying journalism, and she is an Assistant Sports Editor for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire, she enjoys reading and watching baseball, specifically the San Francisco Giants and the Boston Red Sox. She is excited to meet new people and continue to create high-quality sports content for the Wire.

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