Home Sweet Home

Dominic James may enjoy Marquette's home atmosphere more than any other player on the Golden Eagles.

James looks to turn in another big effort in front of his home fans as No. 17 Marquette tries to extend its Bradley Center winning streak to 14 games on Tuesday in a Big East matchup against South Florida.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Marquette –15.5 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 59% of bets for this game have been placed on Marquette –15.5 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

The Golden Eagles (14-4, 4-3) have been a completely different team home and away in conference play. They are averaging 82.0 points in four Big East home wins, but just 62.7 in losing all three on the road.

It's been night and day for leading scorer James, who is averaging just 7.3 points on 33.3 percent shooting in the three losses. In Milwaukee, however, the junior guard scores 17.3 points per game on nearly 47 percent shooting in Big East action.

That discrepancy in points is the biggest among Marquette's current starters. Lazar Hayward is the only other starter who has averaged more points and shot better at home compared to on the road in conference play.

The Golden Eagles improved to 11-0 at home behind a strong game from James in a 79-71 win over DePaul on Saturday. He shot 7-of-11 from the floor and scored 19 points to lead Marquette.

"This was one of Dominic's best games since he's been at Marquette, because he was really spent every time he came out of the game," Marquette coach Tom Crean said. "He's in great shape and I was really, really happy to see how hard he played. He had a lot of great possessions."

Marquette started slowly, missing 10 of its first 11 shots. The Golden Eagles heated up after halftime, shooting 52.8 percent (19-of-36) and scoring 50 points in front of 19,037 fans, which Marquette officials said was the largest crowd to ever watch a college basketball game in Wisconsin.

"It was all confidence," said guard Wesley Matthews, who scored all 10 of his points in the second half. "We were getting good shots, we just weren't making them. We had faith in ourselves, faith in each other, that they would start falling after that."

The Golden Eagles will be heavily favored against the Bulls (10-10, 1-6), who have lost all 19 Big East road games since joining the conference before the 2005-06 season. South Florida has lost six straight overall since winning its Big East opener, 68-45 over Rutgers on Jan. 2.

All six losses have been by double digits, including an 80-60 defeat to Louisville last Wednesday. The Bulls turned in their worst shooting effort of the skid at 38.9 percent.

"There's not a whole lot to say. ... We were outplayed," first-year coach Stan Heath said.

The Bulls do have a star in center Kentrell Gransberry, who leads the Big East with 11 double-doubles. Gransberry notched his fifth double-double in league play with 22 points and 10 rebounds against Louisville.

Marquette has won six straight against South Florida, including a 70-68 victory last season on Jan. 28 as Jerel McNeal converted a steal into a layup at the buzzer for the game-winner.

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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