The Golden Eagles lead the all-time series with the Red Storm 8-5, including a 76-67 decision last season in the opening round of the league tourney. Following Wednesday's matchup, MU will host Rutgers Saturday afternoon before traveling to Villanova for the squad's second "Big Monday" contest.
Pair Of Big Victories Leads To Rankings Return
Fresh off wins over Seton Hall and Pittsburgh, the Golden Eagles again find themselves in both of the national rankings, earning the 25th spot in the Associated Press Poll and 24th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll.
The victory over the Pirates was the largest in a road game by Marquette in just over a decade and Saturday's 72-54 decision over the Panthers was the largest defeat PITT has experienced in league play in the last five seasons.
MU had dipped out of the Associated Press rankings last week for the first time all season following a pair of losses to Notre Dame and Louisville.
James Hands Out Assists Like Candy At A Parade
Junior Dominic James was masterful in his distribution of the ball in Saturday's victory over Pittsburgh, helping the squad to an impressive 72-54 victory.
James finished the game with a career-high 12 assists in 31 minutes of action and more importantly didn't turn the ball over on one occasion. Through games of Feb. 16, only one other player in the nation has collected 12-or-more assists in a game without committing a miscue. Brandon Brooks of Alabama State accomplished the feat on Feb. 2, finishing with 13 helpers against Texas Southern.
Five different players were the recipients of setups from James, with Jerel McNeal leading the way by benefitting from four assists en route to a 17-point night.
The only previous time James has reached double figures in a game also happened versus the Panthers in the regular season finale last year. He finished with 10 assists and just one turnover in the 75-71 victory.
Fitzgerald Would Take Another Repeat New York Effort
If there is one player on the current roster who has made the most of his trips to Madison Square Garden, it's senior forward Dan Fitzgerald.
In a pair of starting assignments during last season's BIG EAST Tournament run, Fitzgerald posted a pair of identical shooting nights. In matchups against St. John's and Pittsburgh, the St. Paul, Minn., native concluded each night 6-of-10 from the field overall, 4-of-8 from long distance and 4-of-5 from the charity stripe. He accounted for 20 points in both games to pace the roster on each occasion.
In three career games at MSG, Fitzgerald is 13-of-22 (59.0 percent) from the field, 50 percent (9-of-18) from behind the 3-point line and 8-of-10 (80 percent) from the free throw line.