Saturday , Feb , 03 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Golden Eagles have sights set on seventh straight win

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – The 14th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles will
take on the Providence Friars this afternoon in what promises to be an
entertaining Big East Conference clash.

Providence has been idle since last weekend when the squad recorded an 84-72
decision over UConn on the road. Two of the last three games have resulted in
victory for the Friars, who are 14-6 overall and 4-3 in conference play.
The triumph over UConn marked the first true road win of the season for
Providence, as it is currently 1-3 in enemy territory.

Marquette has been unbeatable for the last three weeks, as the team is
riding a six-game winning streak that has enabled it to move to 19-4
overall and 6-2 in conference. The Golden Eagles found a way to get by South
Florida on Sunday by a 70-68 final, and other victims during the team’s
current run include Pittsburgh and Louisville, both on the road.

Providence beat Marquette by a score of 74-59 last month to take a 4-3 lead in
the all-time series between the two teams.

Providence has a youthful lineup that features only one senior, so it is a bit
surprising that the young squad has been as good as it has thus far. Herbert
Hill has been a monster on the interior since the start of league play, as he
is averaging 19.9 ppg and 10.4 rpg through seven Big East games. He is also
shooting over 60 percent from the floor in conference action and has blocked
over four shots per outing. Sharaud Curry is scoring 16.6 ppg for the Friars
overall this season, and Weyinmi Efejuku checks in with 14.3 ppg. Geoff
McDermott, who is scoring 11.7 ppg, has dished out 108 assists to go along with
39 steals. All five starters and six players in all reached double figures in
scoring for Providence in the win over UConn last weekend. Hill led the way
with 19 points and 11 rebounds for the Friars, who overcame an 11-point
halftime deficit on the road.

Marquette possesses one of the top performers in the Big East, as Dominic James
is certainly a strong candidate for league player of the year honors. James is
netting 16.5 ppg to go along with 4.7 apg, and he has recorded 51 steals. He
gets plenty of help from backcourt mate Jerel McNeal, as he is posting 14.6
ppg, 4.7 apg and 68 steals. The third and final double-digit scorer on the
roster is Wesley Matthews with 12.6 ppg. In Sunday’s narrow win over USF, James
came through with 16 points, six assists and four steals, while McNeal scored
13 points. The Golden Eagles connected on only 38.3 percent of their field goal
attempts in the clash while permitting USF to shoot 52.9 percent overall.
Fortunately, Marquette was able to force 19 turnovers, the major contributing
factor in the win.