NCAA Basketball

Final 1 2 Tot
30 39 69
29 50 79
6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 PM GMT10:00 PM 北京时间7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST, Feb 20, 2019
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 14,600

Butler seeks rare win over ranked foe at No. 11 Marquette

The Big East Conference game between Butler and Marquette in Milwaukee on Wednesday night could be sponsored by the number 11.

The Bulldogs are aiming to avoid an 11th straight loss against Top 25 teams, while the Golden Eagles check in ranked 11th nationally. Marquette also enters with its chances of winning a Big East regular-season title enhanced by some help Sunday from St. John's.

After handing the Golden Eagles both of their conference losses, the Red Storm did them a favor by rallying from a 14-point, second-half deficit to topple first-place Villanova 71-65 at Madison Square Garden in New York. That brought Marquette (21-4, 10-2) within a half-game of the Wildcats for first place.

What's more, the Golden Eagles should be rested and ready to go for their second meeting with Butler (15-11, 6-7). Marquette has been idle since routing DePaul 92-73 on Feb. 12 in Chicago, where they got a 36-point performance from guard Markus Howard.

The 5-foot-11 junior, who is a favorite to win conference Player of the Year, has scored at least 30 points in four of the past five games. His average of 25.6 points per game leads the conference, and he also chips in 4.2 rebounds as well as 4.1 assists per game.

Howard, who had a 38-point performance in a 66-65 win over Villanova on Feb. 9, said Marquette needed the victory at DePaul.

"This is definitely a program game," he said to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "A game that defines our program. That Villanova win was a very emotional one, but it doesn't mean anything if we didn't validate it with a win here in Chicago."

He added this week to the Journal Sentinel, "I'm just really, really excited about our progression as a team. How we're growing each and every day in practice. We're loving the process. We're enjoying it.

"We're still not even close to where we can be at the end of the year. We're still really looking forward to where we can be come March."

While the Golden Eagles are shooting for a conference title, the Bulldogs are trying to emerge from the middle of a crowded Big East pack. They took a step in the right direction Saturday night, outgunning DePaul 91-78 in Indianapolis behind 25 points from Kamar Baldwin and a dozen 3-pointers.

"Our depth really helped us tonight," Butler coach LaVall Jordan said. "We were hit with some foul trouble but had fresh bodies ready to go. Our bench was really good. The guys played together, the ball moved, and we found each other. I know our guys are really excited to attack this final third of the conference schedule."

A key to the Wednesday game will be how Marquette defends the 3-point arc. The Bulldogs have canned 10 or more 3-pointers 11 times this season, going 9-2 in those contests.

Another key will be Butler's defense. The Golden Eagles have scored at least 74 points in 17 games this year, including their 76-65 road triumph over the Bulldogs on Jan. 30, and won all of them. They are only 4-4 when not reaching 74 points.

--Field Level Media

Updated February 19, 2019

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