Where: Dunkin’ Donuts Center – Providence, RI
When: 7:00pm EST
- Providence and Marquette will meet for the 21st time on Tuesday with the Golden Eagles leading, 14-6. The Friars are 4-3 in games played at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. The first game was played March 21, 1963 at Madison Square Garden in the NIT.
- Marquette is 10-4 (0-2) on the season. The Golden Eagles are in their second season being led by Steve Wojciechowski. They entered league play at 10-2 but have fallen against Seton Hall and at Georgetown in their opening Big East games. The Golden Eagles are led in scoring by freshman Henry Ellenson, who averages 16.2 points/game. Ellenson is also the leading rebounder, averaging 9.9 rebounds/game.
- Kris Dunn leads the Big East in assists (7.3/game) and steals (3.1/game) and is second in the league in scoring (17.5 points/game) behind his teammate Ben Bentil (18.9 points/game). Bentil is also 6th in rebounding (7.9/game), has made and attempted the most field goals in the Big East and is 8th in free throw percentage (79.3%). Rodney Bullock is also in the top 10 in the league in three categories. Bullock is 8th in rebounding (7.7/game), 10th in scoring (14.3 points/game) and 5th in blocks (1.53/game).
- The Friars have climbed back into the top 10 in the AP Poll after an impressive 2-0 start in Big East play, including a road win at then 9th ranked Butler in the league opener on December 31st. Providence moved up to 8th from 12th in the AP Poll and 9th from 13th in the USA Today Coaches’ Poll. This is the first time this season Providence is top 10 in both polls.
- Opening Line: (8) Providence -11 vs. Marquette 1/5/16
Providence and Marquette got off to opposite starts in Big East play. The Friars won both opening games, including an impressive road win at Butler on December 31st. The Golden Eagles dropped both of their opening games, including a 20 point blowout loss at home against Seton Hall. That was not how Steve Wojciechowski wanted things to start after he signed a contract extension over the Christmas break. Marquette presents some matchup problems for Providence. Henry Ellenson is a unique player with a unique skillset. At 6’10 and playing the power forward position, Ellenson will be tricky for Ed Cooley to gameplan for because the Golden Eagles also have an excellent interior presence in Luke Fischer.
The probable starters according to the game notes and prior box scores are:
- Kris Dunn – #3 – Junior
- Junior Lomomba – #32 – Junior
- Jalen Lindsey – #21 – Sophomore
- Rodney Bullock – #5 – Sophomore
- Ben Bentil – #0 – Sophomore
- Traci Carter – #21 – Freshman
- Haanif Cheatham – #25 – Freshman
- Sandy Cohen III – #5 – Sophomore
- Henry Ellenson – #13 – Freshman
- Luke Fischer – #40 – Junior
The key for Providence will be to keep themselves out of foul trouble. Ben Bentil has largely managed to keep his foul issues from last season a thing of the past. He must continue to do that because Providence is razor-thin in the frontcourt with the transfer of Paschal Chukwu and, more recently, the hand injury of freshman big man Quadree Smith. Marquette has had some turnover issues and Providence has been adept at forcing them, so points off turnovers could be a key difference in this game.
Prediction: Providence 77 Marquette 70
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