No. 22 Marquette looks to keep exceeding expectations as it travels for a Sunday matinee matchup with No. 17 Providence.
Despite being ranked ninth in the Big East Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Golden Eagles (15-6, 7-3 Big East) have emerged as one of the top teams in the nation thanks to a seven-game win streak that has featured four victories over ranked opponents.
Marquette prevailed 73-63 at Seton Hall on Wednesday night, riding the efforts of Justin Lewis, who went for a career-high 33 points on 11-of-19 shooting and grabbed nine rebounds. Olivier-Maxence Prosper added 10 points and Tyler Kolek finished with seven points, seven boards and five assists as the Golden Eagles posted their third consecutive road win.
“He’s taking good shots,” Marquette coach Shaka Smart said of Lewis, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “And once you take some good shots and get a rhythm, then all of a sudden he gets his pullup going and he’s feeling the flow of the game.”
Lewis has been phenomenal over the course of the win streak, averaging 19.4 points and 7.9 rebounds. He has scored at least 20 points in four of the seven wins and is shooting 48.6 percent from 3-point range in the seven-game span.
The Golden Eagles have not dropped a game since their double-overtime loss to Creighton on Jan. 1, and they have not lost away from home since Dec. 18. They are one victory away from their longest win streak since the 2018-19 season.
Providence (17-2, 7-1) also finds itself in the midst of a win streak after beating No. 21 Xavier on Wednesday thanks to Jared Bynum’s game-winning 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left.
Al Durham paced the Friars with a game-high 22 points on 5-of-16 shooting from the floor and 10-of-10 success at the foul line. Bynum added 16 off the bench, and reserve Ed Croswell had 10. Noah Horchler finished with six points and 11 rebounds.
“I just think we’re so connected from the coaching staff to the players to the managers,” Bynum said. “It doesn’t matter what five we got out on the court. We’re going to be able to get the job done, and we do a lot of preparation, we got a lot of confidence and we got a lot of belief in each other.”
Bynum’s contributions were needed, as Nate Watson, Providence’s second-leading scorer, was held scoreless for the first time since Jan. 15, 2018, in his 18 minutes on the floor.
Watson had been playing well before the meeting with the Musketeers, averaging 16.7 points in the three games prior.
The Friars will be without A.J. Reeves for Sunday’s game against the Golden Eagles as the 6-foot-6 guard nurses a finger injury. He is averaging 10.7 points this season, and it is unknown when he will return to the lineup.
Sunday marks the second and final regular-season meeting between Marquette and Providence. The Golden Eagles crushed the Friars 88-56 when the teams met on Jan. 4 in Milwaukee, with Lewis producing game-high totals of 23 points and 11 rebounds.
–Field Level Media