Saturday , Feb , 17 , 2007 C.Y. Ellis

Marquette entertains Louisville in pivotal Big East bout

Milwaukee, WI (Sports Network) – Following a disappointing two-game road trip
that watched the team drop back to back games at Georgetown and DePaul, the
12th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles return to the friendly confines of the
Bradley Center, as they welcome the Louisville Cardinals for a key Big East
battle in Milwaukee this evening.

With a 72-67 setback at DePaul this week, the Golden Eagles fell to 8-4 in
Big East play, a full two games behind league leading Pittsburgh. The
Cardinals are in a similar spot, tied with Marquette at 8-4.

However, Rick Pitino’s squad comes into this game with a full head of
steam, winning two games in a row, including a thrilling 66-53 upset of
Pittsburgh at the Petersen Events Center on Monday. The Cardinals own a
34-24 edge in the all-time series with Marquette, but the Golden Eagles
are seeking the regular season sweep following a 74-65 win at Freedom Hall on
January 15th.

Center David Padgett led the Cardinals with 16 points, as they were able to
get a rare win in Pittsburgh on Monday. Louisville shot .481 from the floor in
the game, but only Padgett finished in double digits. Juan Palacios and Edgar
Sosa came close, finishing with nine points apiece. Leading scorer Terrance
Williams added eight points and seven assists to the effort. Offensively, the
Cardinals have been rather bland, averaging just 71.2 ppg, on a pedestrian
.423 shooting from the floor. Williams leads the team in scoring (12.3 ppg),
rebounding (7.2 rpg) and assists (94), but teams are bound to let him fire
away, considering he is shooting just .358 from the floor. Sosa is the only
other double-digit threat at 10.7 ppg, but both Padgett (9.7 ppg) and Palacios
(9.4 ppg) are closing in on double figures.

Dominic James led four Golden Eagles in double figures with 17 points, but
Marquette was still only able to connect on a mere 39.1 percent of its shots
in the loss at DePaul. Jerel McNeal and Dan Fitzgerald added 16 points each
and Wesley Williams chipped in with 12 points, just missing a double-double
with nine rebounds. A real disappointment had to be the play of starting
forward Ousmane Barro, who was held scoreless in 30 minutes of action,
although he did grab nine rebounds. James has show glimpses of super stardom
for the Golden Eagles in his two seasons with the team. Although he currently
leads the team in scoring (15.3 ppg), he is shooting a discouraging .398 from
the floor, including .286 from behind the arc. McNeal hasn’t been much better
with his accuracy (.420), but does add 14.5 ppg. Matthews finishes off the
three-guard set with 12.0 ppg. Despite being held without a point at DePaul,
Barro is still shooting .589 from the floor and is averaging 8.7 points and a
team-high 7.1 rebounds per game.