Marquette at Xavier
When: 12:00 PM ET, Saturday, February 6, 2016
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
Fifth-ranked Xavier attempts to win five straight Big East games for the first time when it hosts Marquette on Saturday. The Musketeers slipped past St. John's on Wednesday to become the first team in Division I to reach 20 wins and also matched their longest conference win streak of four games, first set with a Jan. 16 road victory over the Golden Eagles.
"You're talking about 350 some odd teams, to be the first team. It means we're doing something right," coach Chris Mack told the media. What the Musketeers did right against St. John's - rebound and convert at the foul line - was what they also did right in the first meeting with Marquette. Behind James Farr's 19 rebounds, Xavier finished with 49 boards, including 37 on the defensive end, while also enjoying a five-point edge at the foul line. The Golden Eagles were again plagued by poor shooting in Wednesday's loss to Seton Hall, but unlike against Xavier, they couldn't hang around for the full 40 minutes. TV:
Noon ET, Fox Sports 1ABOUT MARQUETTE (15-8, 4-6 Big East):
The last two games for freshman Henry Ellenson were a microcosm for Marquette's season as the forward followed a career-high 32 points in a win over Butler with 10 against the Pirates, who kept him off the foul line. The 6-10 forward, though, managed his sixth straight double-double and 15th overall and had 20 points and seven rebounds in the first game against Xavier. "Something we all know we have to be better on is being a more consistent team," Ellenson told ESPN. "It's a learning process." ABOUT XAVIER (20-2, 8-2 Big East):
Sophomore J.P. Macura has provided a spark for the Musketeers, scoring in double figures in three straight games while going 12-for-13 at the foul line during that span. He scored 12 points against St. John's but his biggest contribution might have been the five offensive rebounds in 25 minutes off the bench. "He brings a lot of energy and very consistent play," Mack told the media. "Five offensive rebounds in 25 minutes is as elite as you can get from the wing position."TIP-INS
1. The previous time the Musketeers won 20 games by Feb. 5 occurred in 2008-09, the season before Mack took over as coach.
2. Xavier has won four straight and five of the last six games against Marquette, but trail 47-20 in the series.
3. Golden Eagles F Luke Fischer rebounded from his first scoreless game with 17 points and six rebounds against Seton Hall.PREDICTION:
Xavier 77, Marquette 64
Stats and Records