Milestone Game

St Petersburgh,Fla - As Jerel McNeal moves closer toward becoming Marquette's all-time leading scorer, his play seems to be getting better.

Bet College Basketball

After facing the worst team in the Big East in their last game, McNeal and the No. 8 Golden Eagles likely won't get much of a tougher challenge on Friday when they visit South Florida.

Oddsmakers from Online Sportsbook have made the Marquette -9 point spread favorites for Thursday’s game against the So Florida Current College Basketball Public Betting Information shows that 57% of more than 184 bets for this game have been placed on the Marquette -9

McNeal has scored at least 21 points in his last six games and is averaging 26.3 points, 6.3 assists and 3.7 steals in the last three. He led Marquette (20-2, 9-0) to its 12th straight win Tuesday, finishing with 26 points, six assists, five steals and a career-high four blocked shots in a 76-61 victory at DePaul.

"I never try to impact the game," said McNeal, who has recorded nine of his career-high 17 blocks in the last three games. "I want to have a variety of ways I can impact the game, but anytime you have that versatility, you can help your team a lot. It becomes a situation where the opposing team has to account for me at all times."

McNeal's performance on Tuesday gave him 1,731 career points. He needs five more to surpass Butch Lee for second on Marquette's all-time list, and with 43 points he'll take over as the Golden Eagles' top scorer, moving past George Thompson, who set the record in 1969.

"If I could come up with a few more adjectives, I would," Marquette coach Buzz Williams said. "I think he's playing with an unbelievable chip on his shoulder, with a toughness that defines him as a person and as a player. He's all over the floor every possession, and that's why his line looks the way that it does. He's playing maybe as good as he could play every possession of the game."

The Golden Eagles are trying for their longest winning streak since the 1975-76 team won 23 in a row. Marquette, off to its best start since the 1977-78 squad opened 22-2, hasn't lost since falling 80-68 to then-No. 16 Tennessee on Dec. 16.

After beating a DePaul team that is winless in Big East play, Marquette will face a team that isn't playing much better. The Golden Eagles have won seven straight over South Florida (7-14, 2-7) and are 14-2 against the Bulls all-time.

South Florida, which hasn't won in the series since a 75-63 victory in Milwaukee on Dec. 13, 1998, has held McNeal in check. In two meetings, the 6-foot-3 guard has averaged 9.5 points and shot 7-for-22 from the field (31.8 percent).

The Bulls are trying to avoid a fourth straight loss after falling 65-48 at St. John's on Sunday. They shot 35.3 percent in their second-lowest scoring game of the season and were outscored 37-26 in the second half.

Leading scorer Dominique Jones had 16 points on 7-of-14 shooting, but the rest of the Bulls shot 29.7 percent (11-for-37).

"We just couldn't find the basket today," coach Stan Heath said. "Our offensive shooting is a struggle right now."

Heath's team is averaging 58.4 points and shooting 38.8 percent in the last five games.

South Florida has lost all five games this season against ranked opponents, including three at home.

Bet College Basketball
Did you like this article? Subscribe to our Basketball news feed for the fastest updates delivered right to you - Click here to Subscribe

Posted: 2/6/09 2:05AM ET


NCAAB Top Stories

Thumbnail Beilein's bunch hopes to stand up to Badgers As the Big Ten schedule ramps up, certain teams are already separating themselves from the rest of the pack. Will Wisconsin or Michigan rise to the...
Thumbnail Kentucky vs. Mississippi State Pick Is Kentucky laying too many points to Mississippi State tonight at 7:00PM ET?
Thumbnail Illinois vs. Purdue Pick Will No. 21 Purdue have any trouble at home when it welcomes Illinois to town tonight at 7PM ET?
Thumbnail Texas vs. Baylor Pick No. 6 Baylor looks to make quick work of Texas when the two meet up tonight in Big 12 action at 7PM ET?
Thumbnail Kansas vs. Iowa State Prediction Iowa State is a home underdog tonight against Kansas in Big 12 play. Are the Cyclones a good bet to cover when the teams tip-off at 9:00PM ET?

NCAAB Headlines

NCAAB Team Pages