Cincinnati-Marquette Preview

Marquette is back home after splitting a pair of road games,

hoping it can build on the last one despite an ugly start.

The 18th-ranked Golden Eagles look to win their seventh straight

at the Bradley Center when they face Cincinnati on Saturday.

Marquette bounced back from a 76-59 loss at Notre Dame last

Saturday with an 89-76 win over DePaul on Monday. The Golden Eagles

(20-5, 9-3 Big East) have won eight of nine and are two games

behind No. 2 Syracuse in the conference.

Following the ugly defeat to the Irish, they got off to a slow

start against the Blue Demons, trailing by 12 late in the first

half before going on a 25-5 run spanning the first and second

halves to take control.

Five Marquette players scored in double figures. Jamil Wilson

had a season-high 18 points and 10 rebounds and Jae Crowder added

14 points and 11 boards.

“I think that’s how we should be playing,” said guard Darius

Johnson-Odom, who scored a game-high 23 points. “We should at least

get five guys in double figures. When we’re able to play like that

it’s hard for a lot teams to guard us because you don’t know who is

going to score because we have so many threats on the floor.”

Johnson-Odom, Marquette’s leading scorer, was held to 12 points

against the Irish while Crowder finished with four points and shot

2 of 7.

The Golden Eagles can’t afford bad games from those two with

Davante Gardner, their third-leading scorer, having missed the last

three games with a knee injury. It’s not certain when he will


If he’s not ready Saturday, Wilson is likely to get a fourth

straight start. He recorded his first career double-double Monday

and has averaged 11.5 points – nearly six above his career average

– and 5.3 rebounds the last six games.

“I thought he was the hardest-playing guy on the floor from

start to finish. He is our most talented player, his talent does

not always show and he is by far the perfect example of what my

children become as human beings,” coach Buzz Williams said.

Marquette will be looking to improve its 12-1 home record and

6-0 mark in conference play. It might not be easy to do against the

Bearcats, who have knocked off three ranked conference opponents on

the road and won in their visit to Marquette last season.

Cincinnati (17-7, 7-4) is looking to win its third straight. The

Bearcats are coming off a 76-54 victory over St. John’s on


Sean Kilpatrick scored 10 straight points in a 12-3 run that

gave Cincinnati a 44-27 lead with 15:26 to play. He finished with

eight rebounds as the Bearcats held a 49-29 rebounding


Yancy Gates had 14 points and nine rebounds while Cashmere

Wright had 12 points and 10 boards.

“I think it was a must-win,” Wright said. “We lost to them in

Cincinnati so we had to come here and get a win. We’re trying to

make the tournament for Yancy and Dion (Dixon) for their senior

season so we had to get a win.”

Cincinnati’s play against the top teams in the conference bodes

well for its tournament resume. The Bearcats have three Big East

road victories against Top 25 schools.

Cincinnati snapped a three-game losing streak against Marquette

with a 67-60 win at the Bradley Center on March 2.