MU Plays Louisville in Season Finale

The Conference USA league rematch between the Marquette Golden Eagles (7-8, 16-10) and the No. 25 Louisville Cardinals (9-6, 19-7) is set for 12:30 p.m. Saturday, in Milwaukee, at the Bradley Center. The afternoon match is Senior Day for Scott Merritt and Terry Sanders, both Milwaukee natives. Sanders and Merritt helped guide the Marquette program to two consecutive NCAA appearances and a Final Four, Marquette's first since 1977.


            The game had a prior start time of 12 p.m. but that was changed to accommodate CBS TV. It is Marquette's last regular season game.

            On January 31, Marquette was able to steal a 77-70 win at Freedom Hall, over the No. 4 ranked Cardinals. The Golden Eagles were led by sophomore forward Steve Novak who had 30 points, which included going 8-13 from the three-point line.

            "The shooting of one player was the difference," Louisville Coach Rick Pitino said after the loss. "We let one guy get off.  He's one of the best shooters in college basketball. He was extremely hot, but it was a poor job on our defense."

            Pitino, who coached that game following a two-day medical leave, might focus on Novak in this match.  The Cardinals might try to pressure junior guard Travis Diener once again in a full-court press. Diener, who scored 30 points to lead his team over East Carolina Wednesday, has led his team in scoring over the past five games with 17, 20, 26 and 15.

            The last time Louisville played at the Bradley Center, on February 15, 2003, the game came down to a last second shot from then senior guard Reece Gaines. In front of a sell-out crowd of 18,850, Gaines was defended by CUSA Player of the Year Dwyane Wade and drilled a 25-foot three pointer with five seconds left to give his team the win 73-70.

            The Cardinals are coming off a road win, giving St. Louis a pounding Wednesday 75-48.  Sophomore Francisco Garcia led his team with a game-high 17 points, scoring 11 in the first half.  Last Saturday Louisville upset No. 20 Memphis 66-60 at Louisville.

            Chris Grimm, Carlton Christian, Brandon Bell, and Joe Chapman have been performing well off the bench in the team's last few contests.  Grimm recorded career-high six points and eight rebounds in 24 minutes against Tulane last Saturday, while Bell has seen an increase of minutes off the bench, running the floor for the resting Diener.





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