Cumberland’s Tyler Kolek Set To Face Hometown Team when #16 PC Plays Marquette

The Marquette University men’s basketball team (8-6, 0-3 BIG EAST) continues the BIG EAST campaign when the squad hosts nationally ranked Providence (13-1, 3-0 BIG EAST) at 8 p.m. CT in Fiserv Forum on Tuesday, Jan. 4. FS1 will feature the national television broadcast, with Lisa Byington (play-by-play) and Brian Butch (analyst) calling the action. Following Tuesday’s outing, the Golden Eagles will travel to Georgetown for a rare Friday night league matchup on Jan. 7.

All-Time Series Provides Plenty Of Highlights

The all-time series between Marquette and Providence consists of 32 games (Marquette leads 20-12) and includes a number of memorable contests for MU fans.

The two programs first met in the 1963 National Invitation Tournament and the result was a 70-64 victory by PC. The teams would cross paths four years later in the same event and a slim 81-80 Marquette overtime win helped the squad to a runner-up finish under head coach Al McGuire.

Since the teams began meeting in BIG EAST Conference action, series highlights include a game delayed at the Bradley Center when a bat continued to interrupt play on the court, a wet court at PC in 2016-17 that caused numerous stoppages in play, a league record-tying 52-point performance by Markus Howard in 2017-18 at Providence and multiple overtime results.

The two programs split the season series in 2020-21, with each team winning on its respective home court. The Friars pulled away for a 72-63 overtime win on Jan. 27, 2021 in the most recent meeting, which came on campus at Alumni Hall.

Ighodaro Continues Breakthrough Season

After seeing action in just five games in 2020-21 for a total of 38 minutes, forward Oso Ighodaro has developed into a valuable member of the rotation this season.

His latest highlight was a personal-best 22-point performance in 33 minutes (career-high) off the bench against Creighton. The Chandler, Arizona native finished 10-of-12 from the floor, posting personal highs in both makes and attempts, and also found time to chip in five rebounds, an assist and a blocked shot.

For the season, Ighodaro is shooting 78.7 percent from the floor and contributing 6.0 points and 4.1 rebounds per game. He now owns three double-digit scoring games on the year, including a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds vs. Jackson State).

Deficits, Lack Of Charity Early League Trend

Marquette has had an opportunity to win each of its first three conference games, but double-digit second-half deficits in each of the outings have proven to be too much to overcome.

The Golden Eagles trailed by as many as 10 points at Xavier in the league opener, pulling to within one point (70-69) with just over two minutes left. Against UConn, the Huskies led by 11 points and Marquette was again able to cut the gap to one point at 66-65 with 4:14 on the clock. In the team’s latest outing, Creighton moved ahead by 17 points in the opening minutes of the second stanza before MU was able to force overtime and eventually lead by as many as five points in the first extra session.

The free throw line was a significant advantage for the team during the non-conference campaign, but that trend has changed in BIG EAST play. Through the first three games, MU’s opponents have attempted twice as many charity tosses and as a result are outscoring the Golden Eagles by over seven points per game (16.3-9) from the line.

In the three league matchups, Marquette is averaging just 12 free throw attempts per contest, while opponents are making the trip to the line 24 times per game.

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