No. 7 Marquette will aim to keep its seven-game winning streak going as it begins a tough week on the road with a matchup against Butler on Tuesday night in Indianapolis.
The Golden Eagles (18-5, 9-3 Big East) are coming off just one game last week, an 86-75 win in front of a record crowd on National Marquette Day in Milwaukee.
Marquette, which trailed by nine at halftime, was led by 27 points and 13 assists from Tyler Kolek, who also grabbed seven boards. Stevie Mitchell added 14 points while Oso Ighodaro scored nine while grabbing nine rebounds.
“That was a terrific second-half effort by our entire group,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said. “We knew we needed to be tougher, stronger and more desperate. I can’t say enough about the way our guys flipped.”
Butler (16-8, 7-6 Big East) is coming off a big win of its own, taking down Providence 75-72 at home on Saturday. It’s the Bulldogs’ fifth victory in their last six contests.
DJ Davis led the Bulldogs with his 20 points and eight rebounds. Pierre Brooks II added 12 points and seven boards while Posh Alexander rang up 10 points, eight boards and eight assists.
“As I told them, they showed me they were winners. They finished the game, they kept playing,” Butler coach Thad Matta said. “We got the stops when we needed, we locked down and that’s a tribute to those guys in there.”
Brooks leads Butler this season with 15.8 points per game. Posh Alexander averages 5.3 assists and 2.4 steals per game while Jalen Thomas leads down low, averaging 6.3 rebounds.
Kolek leads Marquette with 15.6 points and 7.5 assists per contest. Mitchell averages 1.9 steals, while Ighodaro grabs 7.3 boards to go with his 14.1 points per game.
This is the second and final regular-season matchup between these programs, with Butler pulling off an upset victory on the road 69-62 on Jan. 10 in Milwaukee.
The Bulldogs had four scorers in double digits that day, led by Brooks with 14 and a 10-point, 14-rebound double-double from Thomas.
Kolek notably scored just two points on 1-of-13 shooting from the field, though he did dish eight assists. The Golden Eagles shot just 32.9 percent from the floor on the game and 16.1 percent from beyond the arc.
“It’s a mental thing. Right now we have to figure out how to free these guys minds in the game,” Smart said after that loss. “We got really tentative at times on offense because guys didn’t know if they were going to be able to shoot it in.”
Marquette is 13-14 against Butler since the 1990 season after having its three-game win streak snapped. The Golden Eagles are just 4-9 on the road in that span, but won in Indianapolis last season, 72-56.
On the injury front, there is no news on either side. Sean Jones remains out for the season for Marquette after ACL surgery and Butler’s Connor Turnbull is still out indefinitely with an elbow injury.
–Field Level Media