Cardinals Take on Eagles

Marquette's worst loss of the season came against Louisville, but the Golden Eagles are hoping for a measure of revenge as the series moves back to Milwaukee.

The 17th-ranked Golden Eagles will be trying to remain undefeated at home as they face the Cardinals on Monday.

Oddsmakers from Bodog have made Marquette -3 point spread favorites (View College Basketball odds) for today’s game (Game Matchup). Current public betting information shows that 58% of bets for this game have been placed on Marquette -3 (View College Basketball bet percentages).

Marquette (16-4, 6-3 Big East) shot just 30.4 percent in a 71-51 loss at Louisville on Jan. 17. The Cardinals held the Golden Eagles to just 19 first-half points and limited leading scorer Dominic James to only three.

However, Louisville (16-6, 6-3) knows things probably won't be so easy this time around.

"They're a team that doesn't like (getting beat by 20) too much," Louisville guard Edgar Sosa said. "They have a lot of pride. They're ready to go to war and we have to be ready to go to war with them."

The loss to Louisville was the first of consecutive road defeats, but Marquette has regrouped to win three straight. The Eagles are coming off Saturday's 75-60 win at Cincinnati - their first conference road win of the season.

James, who left the Louisville game late in the second half after aggravating a wrist injury, has averaged just 9.8 points since then, failing to score in double figures in three of four games as he plays through the injury. However, his teammates have helped pick up the slack, especially Lazar Hayward, who has averaged 18.7 points during the winning streak.

Hayward scored a team-high 19 against the Bearcats after getting a career-best 23 in Wednesday's 62-54 win over South Florida. Four Marquette players finished in double figures against Cincinnati, including center Ousmane Barro, who had a season-high 19 points.

"Our guys matured in a short period of time," coach Tom Crean said Saturday. "When we got down on the road in other games, we'd have a couple of different guys hanging their heads, or we'd not get that lift off the bench. Our guys just stuck with it."

Marquette has won all 12 of its home games, averaging 78.0 points in five conference home games and outscoring opponents by more than 15 per game.

"The other game was a long time ago," Louisville coach Rick Pitino said. "We know we are going to a very difficult situation."

Pitino's Cardinals are coming off their most lopsided win since joining the Big East three years ago, an 87-50 rout of Rutgers. Earl Clark had 12 points and 10 rebounds, while Terrence Williams, who leads the team with 11.3 points per game, chipped in 11 points, 10 boards and four assists.

Louisville led by as many as 45 points in the second half, allowing Pitino to rest most of his starters.

"We've been playing good basketball, and now we're healthy," Pitino said. "We knew our schedule was going to be tough and we made it that way and we hope that it makes us a competitive team down the stretch."

Monday's game opens a tough regular season-ending stretch of games for Louisville that includes games at Providence, Pittsburgh and DePaul and at home against conference-leading Georgetown as well as Syracuse, Notre Dame and Villanova. The Cardinals have dropped two of three road games, including a 69-67 loss at Connecticut last Monday.

"They're a terrific team," Pitino said. "We have just got to get ready. Marquette, Georgetown twice, at Pitt and Providence. Unless we pull out and go to another league it is going to be tough every year."

by: Staff Writers - Email Us

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