Providence 78

(12-15, 5-11 Big East)

Marquette 88

(20-9, 10-6 Big East)

    2:00 PM ET, March 4, 2006

    BMO Harris Bradley Center, Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    1 2 T
    PROV 28 5078
    MARQ 37 5188

    Top Performers

    Providence: R. Hanke 23 Pts, 15 Reb, 3 Stl

    Marquette: S. Novak 20 Pts, 6 Reb, 3 Ast, 2 Stl

    Marquette 88, Providence 78

    MILWAUKEE (AP) -- After a quiet first half in his final home game, senior sharpshooter Steve Novak scored 17 second-half points as Marquette beat Providence 88-78 Saturday.

    Novak hit three 3-pointers and added a jump shot in a span of less than five minutes, propelling a 16-6 second-half run that proved decisive for Marquette (20-9, 10-6).

    Novak finished with 20 points to lead the Golden Eagles.

    Coach Tom Crean pulled Novak, the school's all-time leading 3-point shooter, out of the game with 18.7 seconds remaining, allowing fans to give him a standing ovation.

    Marquette honored Novak and fellow seniors Joe Chapman and Chris Grimm in a ceremony after the game, as the three walked to the student section to trade high-fives with fans.

    Novak set the Big East single-season record for 3-pointers made in Wednesday's loss at Louisville, and came into Saturday's game leading the nation in free-throw shooting percentage.

    A 6-2 run early in the second half allowed Providence to draw within 5, 44-39.

    But Novak hit his first 3-pointer of the half with 14:37 remaining, spurring Marquette's decisive run.

    Novak wasn't a one-man show during the run -- the Golden Eagles got a jump shot from Jerel McNeal and a putback and free throw from Dominic James -- but he came close.

    Novak's jump shot put the Golden Eagles ahead 51-43, his second 3-pointer of the half put the Golden Eagles ahead 57-43 and his third 3-pointer of the half put Marquette ahead 60-45 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.

    After a surprisingly successful debut season in the Big East, Marquette entered Saturday's game with slight hope of grabbing a No. 4 seed and first-round bye in next week's conference tournament in New York.

    Providence, meanwhile, appears likely to miss the conference tournament.

    Randall Hanke scored 23 to lead the Friars (12-15, 5-11), who have lost five of their last six games. Hanke also had 15 rebounds. Donnie McGrath added 18, and Geoff McDermott had 14 points and 16 rebounds.

    Wesley Matthews had 18 for the Golden Eagles, and Ousmane Barro and McNeal each had 13.

    Marquette led by as many as 13 in the first half and went into halftime with a 37-28 lead. Matthews, a freshman guard, led the Golden Eagles with 12 first-half points.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Team Stat Comparison

    Points 78 88
    FG Made-Attempted 26-76 (.342) 31-60 (.517)
    3P Made-Attempted 4-23 (.174) 11-18 (.611)
    FT Made-Attempted 22-33 (.667) 15-21 (.714)
    Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 18 (0/0) 25 (0/0)
    Largest Lead 0 18

    2005-06 Season

    » Mar 4, 2006 @MARQ 88, PROV 78Recap