<
>

Rapid React: Marquette 87, Providence 66

3/9/2011

NEW YORK -- A quick take on Marquette's 87-66 win over Providence on Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT IT MEANS: Marquette, the No. 11 seed, advances to the second round of the Big East tournament by knocking off No. 14 seed Providence. The Golden Eagles (19-13, 9-9) likely locked up a bid to the NCAA tournament with this victory. It's the fifth year in a row Marquette has won at least one game in the Big East tourney.

The Friars (15-17, 4-14) are eliminated from the tournament.

THE SKINNY: You can't get off to a much better start than Marquette did in this game, scoring the first 17 points of the contest, as it took Providence over five and a half minutes to get on the board. The Golden Eagles led by as many as 24, 41-17, but the Friars fought back to cut the deficit to 13 at intermission, 46-33.

Early in the second half, Providence closed it to within seven, 50-43, and had a possession to cut it to five (or four). But that was as close as it got. Marquette quickly pushed the lead back into double digits, and except for one brief dip to nine, it remained there the rest of the way.

STAR WATCH: Marshon Brooks -- the second-leading scorer in the country (24.8 ppg) -- had 20 points, on 7-for-18 shooting from the field for Providence. Brooks set the Big East single-season scoring record this year (468 points in 18 conference games), but this was certainly not his best night.

Marquette's dynamic scoring duo of Jimmy Butler (16.2 ppg) and Darius Johnson-Odom (15.9 ppg) performed well -- Johnson-Odom had 23 points, and Butler added 19.

NUMBER CRUNCH: Providence did make 13 3-pointers in this game, of 30 attempts -- 43.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc is pretty darn good.

What's not good is what the Friars shot from inside the arc -- a woeful 11-for-38 (28.9 percent). Ouch.

WHAT'S NEXT: Marquette will take on No. 6 seed West Virginia on Wednesday night at approximately 9:30 p.m. Providence will head back to Rhode Island, its season over.