Marquette-Notre Dame Preview
Short-handed and in hostile territory, Notre Dame ran into a
perfect storm earlier this month in suffering its worst loss of the
season at Big East rival Marquette.
Back home and with Carleton Scott healthy, the 16th-ranked
Fighting Irish seek to avenge that defeat Saturday night against
the Golden Eagles.
Scott, a versatile forward who averages 11.5 points and 6.1
rebounds while shooting 36.7 percent from 3-point range, was
sidelined with a strained hamstring as Notre Dame (15-4, 4-3) lost
79-57 on Jan. 10.
Dwight Buycks went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with
a career-high 21 points as Marquette (13-6, 4-2) made 12 of 17 from
beyond the arc and shot 53.1 percent overall.
“I wouldn’t have wanted to play horse against them,” coach Mike
Brey said after that loss. “You’re glad a night like this counts as
one loss. It counts as one.”
Brey will have his senior for the rematch after he made a
surprise return Wednesday versus No. 25 Cincinnati. Scott played 15
minutes off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers – his only shots
– in a 66-58 win as the Irish improved to 12-0 at home.
“When I hit the first shot, it was like a weight coming off my
shoulders,” said Scott, whose 3-pointer forced overtime last season
in a 63-60 win at Marquette on March 6. “I was so anxious to get
back out there, so to get that first one, it felt great.”
Notre Dame hit 7 of 14 shots from 3-point range after making a
combined 6 of 31 in road losses to Marquette and St. John’s last
week. The Irish have been incredibly efficient at home, averaging
83.2 points while shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range and 48.4
Scott’s presence may make it more difficult for the Golden
Eagles to focus defensively on Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis.
They have 84 3-pointers and average 31.1 points between them but
were held to 18 in the loss at Milwaukee.
Marquette routed DePaul 94-64 on Tuesday, bouncing back from a
staggering road loss at then-No. 18 Louisville last Saturday in
which it blew an 18-point lead in the final 5:44.
Jimmie Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom each scored 20 points
Tuesday for the Golden Eagles, who are beginning a four-game
stretch against ranked opponents that features top 10 teams
Connecticut, Syracuse and Villanova.
“Nobody feels sorry for us … we’ve played six games, we’re
4-2,” coach Buzz Williams said. “Our next pod of six, four are on
the road and two at home and the first two on the road are
back-to-back and we have to be on point. We ended the first season
of six in the right way.”
Johnson-Odom, who went 4 for 7 from beyond the arc Tuesday, is
averaging 19.8 points while shooting 44.7 percent from 3-point
range in Big East play. Jae Crowder, who hit four 3-pointers in the
win over Notre Dame, has gone 0 for 6 from long range in his last
two games but is shooting 53.0 percent overall.
Butler is 13 points shy of becoming the 42nd Marquette player to
Notre Dame leads the overall series 78-36, but Marquette has won
six of nine since joining the Big East in 2005.