Preview: Ball State at Marquette
Marquette has had a tough time getting consistent shooting this year, and it's been reflected in the team's near-.500 record. The Golden Eagles are coming off one of their best shooting performances, hitting 64.9 percent from the field, including 6-of-9 from 3-point range, in an easy win over IUPUI. How well Marquette can keep that shooting going will be a key to its success going forward, starting with a Tuesday date against visiting Ball State.
Facing a Cardinals team that allows opponents to shoot 47.7 percent could be beneficial to the Golden Eagles. Ball State is trying to snap a four-game losing streak and earn its first road win of the season. The Cardinals' defense has been a problem, allowing four of its first seven opponents to score 78 points or more.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
ABOUT BALL STATE (2-5): Sometimes, nearly two weeks between games is good for a team. It was not so good for Ball State players, who didn't give a great effort in their last outing, a 19-point loss to Valparaiso, at least in the eyes of head coach James Whitford. The Cardinals were given some time off, but they were also worked hard as Whitford tried to get the team to put forth a greater effort going forward. "The fact we got that way is nobody's fault but mine," Whitford told the Muncie Star Press. "The bar has to be raised."
ABOUT MARQUETTE (6-4): There's something about playing after final exams that seems to help a team play better and looser. That's been evident in past years for Marquette under coach Buzz Williams, and the hope is that it will continue this year, especially after the first game post-finals this season was an easy win over IUPUI. While the players and coaches were aware that it came against a mid-major team as opposed to a national power, the feeling the team got from the win was that they're back to playing winning basketball. "A lot of people will downplay it because it was IUPUI and not Ohio State," junior Juan Anderson told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "But it was big for us as a step back in the right direction."
1. Ball State C Majok Majok is averaging 10.1 rebounds per game.
2. Golden Eagles freshman F Deonte Burton is making his mark off the bench, tying for the team lead in steals and currently being the only Marquette player with more offensive rebounds than defensive.
3. Marquette and Ball State have never met on the hardwood, but the Golden Eagles hold a 63-22 all-time record against teams currently in the MAC.
PREDICTION: Marquette 82, Ball State 67