Marquette looks to exact revenge vs. No. 22 Butler (Feb 07, 2017)
MILWAUKEE -- The Marquette Golden Eagles don't need to be reminded of what happened the last time they faced off against now-No. 22 Butler.
Up by 18 at intermission on Jan. 16 at Hinkle Fieldhouse, Marquette allowed 63 second-half points before ultimately dropping an 88-80 decision.
With the Bulldogs slated to visit Milwaukee Tuesday night for a rematch at the Bradley Center, the Golden Eagles are still a bit upset with their previous performance.
"It gives us confidence and that's what we need," redshirt junior Andrew Rowsey told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "We're a confident team. We need to be confident going into Tuesday because we owe them something from last time we played at Hinkle."
Marquette snapped a two-game losing streak Saturday at DePaul behind seven blocks from Luke Fischer, 22 points on just eight shots from Rowsey and 41 points from the Golden Eagles' bench.
"It was important for us to get a win," said Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, whose team shot 57.7 percent from the floor and 63 percent from beyond the arc. "This is a big win and to win on the road in conference, they're all big."
Since that loss, Marquette has gone 3-2 with victories over then-No. 7 Creighton and No. 1 Villanova. Butler, meanwhile, has gone 2-2 with back-to-back losses to Georgetown and Creighton.
The Bulldogs remained in both Top 25 polls despite those losses and while they're a virtual lock for the NCAA Tournament, they're looking to finish the regular season strong and avoid having to take part in a play-in game on the first night of the Big East Tournament.
Currently, the Bulldogs sit in fourth place in the Big East, but just 2 1/2 games separate Butler and Seton Hall, the No. 7 team, with Marquette and St. Johns sandwiched in between.
Two of the Bulldogs' next three games come against those teams.
"Obviously, every league game is important and a grind, especially when so many teams have the postseason in play," Butler coach Chris Holtmann said. "Having said that, I need to do a better job keeping our players focused on the continual task of our own daily improvement, above all else.
"This is a unique and fun journey that many in this group haven't been on before."
Butler has been off for a week, allowing Holtmann's group to regroup and rest up for this stretch run. Fatigue may have been a factor in those two losses as the Bulldogs allowed Georgetown to shoot 64 percent and Creighton 56 percent.
"I just think from our seniors, we need more out of that group," Holtmann said. "I've got do a better of job of giving them opportunities for that.
"I go back to last year's group. Everybody was panicking when we were 3-6. And I never panicked because I knew we had Kellen Dunham, Roosevelt Jones and Austin Etherington. All they cared about was winning and getting better every day. In February, that really showed. In March, that shows itself."