Marquette upends Providence 75-66

Marquette bounced back from a disappointing road loss to the DePaul Blue Demons by upsetting the Providence Friars 75-66 in its conference home opener. The Golden Eagles (9-5, 1-1) fell apart in Chicago on New Year’s Eve but put up a valiant effort against one of the more talented teams in the Big East.

Marquette had four players score in double figures. Juan Anderson led the team with 18 points, 12 of which came in the second half. The next leading scorers were Sandy Cohen III with 12, Luke Fischer with 11 and Matt Carlino with 10.

Juan Anderson lead the team off the court after the DePaul loss and on the court vs Prov with 18 pts

Coach Steve Wojciechowski said his team’s leadership was a big difference in Marquette’s first two conference games.

“We challenged our older guys to set the tone,” Wojciechowski said. “Outside of Derrick and Juan, nobody on our team has competed in the Big East conference. They (Wilson and Anderson) need to set the tone as these other guys are learning and growing and gaining experience.”

The two teams played to a 33-33 tie in the first half. Providence shot 50 percent from the floor, including 5-of-9 from the three-point line.

Cohen provided the spark in the first half. All 12 of his points came in the first 20 minutes, but he hit two important threes that got Marquette back within striking distance early and helped extend Marquette’s lead later in the half.

“Sandy was terrific,” Wojciechowski said. “Without those 12 points in the first half we wouldn’t win the ball game. I made a mistake not playing him in Chicago.”

Marquette’s defense propelled them to victory in the second half. The Golden Eagles switched from a 2-3 zone to a 1-3-1 and managed to frustrate the Friars. Marquette forced 11 first half turnovers playing primarily in the 2-3 defense, but held Providence to just 34.3 percent shooting in the second half in the 1-3-1 zone.

Duane Wilson hangs in there with 5pts, 2Ast and 2 steals.

The Golden Eagles forced 17 total turnovers and earned 18 points off of those mistakes. LaDontae Henton had 28 points, including six threes for the Friars, but the only other scorer in double figures was Kris Dunn with 11 points.

“I thought our activity level on the defensive end was really good,” Wojciechowski said. “When we turn people over we’re pretty good at converting that into points. That’s a big part of who we are when we’re playing well.”

Providence head coach Ed Cooley said the change in defensive scheme threw his team off a bit.

Matt Carlino had 11 pts vs the rugged Providence defense

“That was a team I wasn’t used to seeing,” Cooley said. “I thought coach did a good job changing his 2-3 zone to a 1-3-1. It frustrated our guys a little bit.”

The Friars entered the game riding a five-game winning streak, including an impressive 12-point victory over Creighton at home in its conference opener. Cooley said it was his team’s worst performance in about a month.

“I thought we just had bad turnovers,” Cooley said. “I’m really surprised (by the amount of turnovers). I think we had nine turnovers in the first eight or nine minutes of the game. We were just careless with the ball and that’s coaching. This was a coaching loss.”

Marquette took care of business on its home floor, which is something that could be a theme throughout conference play. The conference is undefeated at home through the first week of the conference schedule. Winning on the road has been particularly difficult in this series, as Marquette moved to 9-0 all-time against Providence at home.

The Golden Eagles will try to pick up its first true road victory of the season when it heads to Washington D.C. for a showdown against the Georgetown Hoyas Tuesday night. Wojciechowski said his team will need to start taking away the positives from home victories and displaying them in hostile environments.

“We have to use this as a spring board and we have to learn why we were able to win this game,” Wojciechowski said. “We have to try to develop the habits where we can take that on the road.”

#40 Luke Fischer seals the deal with a dunk for two of his 11 pts

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