No. 21 Marquette seeks elusive road win at Creighton
Marquette boasts a national ranking and the presumptive Big East Player of the Year, but what it doesn't have so far this season is a victory on the road.
The No. 21 Golden Eagles will try to change that Wednesday night when they travel to Omaha, Neb., to take on the Creighton Bluejays in Big East action.
Marquette has won eight of its past nine games to improve to 12-3 overall and 1-1 in the Big East, including a home victory over Xavier on Sunday.
However, the Golden Eagles have been blown out in their only two road games this season, including an 89-69 loss at St. John's to open conference play on Jan. 1.
"We had a lot of things to work on after that first game," Marquette freshman forward Joey Hauser said Sunday. "Coming off Christmas break, maybe we got a little too big-headed about it. I think we lost our competitive edge and that's really what we worked on all week."
Marquette also suffered a 23-point loss to Indiana in Bloomington in November.
Marquette will lean on Wooden Award candidate junior guard Markus Howard, who leads the Big East with 24.0 points per game and has put up a pair of 45-point games. He also leads the Golden Eagles with 63 assists and 17 steals.
Creighton, meanwhile, limps into the contest at 10-5, hoping to avoid a two-game losing streak. The Bluejays lost at Butler on Saturday, 84-69, dropping them to 1-1 in conference play.
Marquette rolls into Omaha with a five-game winning streak over the Bluejays, owners of the seventh toughest schedule in the country. The Bluejays have played 10 teams that won at least 21 games last year. Creighton played -- and lost against -- then-No. 1 Gonzaga and No. 24 Nebraska in back-to-back games in December.
Creighton does own a victory over Clemson, then ranked 16th.
Creighton ranks third nationally in 3-point percentage (43.6), fourth in field goal percentage (51.6), fourth in 3-pointers made per game (11.7), and sixth in total 3-pointers (176).
Creighton is led by sophomores Ty-Shon Alexander (16.7 ppg) and Mitch Ballock (10.9 ppg).
But all eyes will be on Howard, the catalyst of an offense that averages 78.5 points per game. The 5-foot-11 guard dropped 45 points on Kansas State and Buffalo earlier in the season, and is coming off a 26-point effort against Xavier.
Surrounding Howard are Hauser brothers Sam (13.5 ppg, 6.8 rpg) and Joey (10.5 ppg, 6.1 rpg), Marquette's top two rebounders who also have combined to make 55 3-pointers.
Joey Hauser earned Big East Freshman of the Week accolades Monday for the second time after averaging 16.5 points and 5.0 rebounds in two contests. For the week, he shot 63.2 percent from the field and 4 of 5 from the 3-point line.
Sophomore Theo John leads the Big East with 27 blocked shots, and junior Ed Morrow has provided 6.1 points and 4.5 rebounds in 14.9 minutes per game as a reserve for the Golden Eagles.
Marquette leads the series with Creighton 54-32, and has a 22-20 lead in Omaha. Marquette leads the series 6-4 since the teams joined the Big East. Each of the past eight meetings has been decided by eight points or less.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 8, 2019