Riding a three-game winning streak, the Marquette Golden Eagles host the UTEP Miners on Tuesday night. The two schools have only played once before on Dec. 7, 1962. In that matchup, the then-Marquette Warriors defeated the then-Texas Western Miners 77-65.
Time & Place: Dec. 4, 2018, 7:30pm CT, Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, WI
TV: FS1 (Brian Anderson, Stephen Bardo)
Radio: WAUK 540 AM & 94.5 FM (Marquette; Steve True, Tony Smith); KOFX 92.3 FM (UTEP [English]; Jon Teicher, Steve Yellen); KSVE 1650 AM (UTEP [Spanish]; Omar Ropele)
Online: Fox Sports Go
Gambling (via OddsShark): The Golden Eagles opened as 21.5-point favorites. They are 4-4 against the spread this season. The Miners are 3-2.
About the Combatants
About the Golden Eagles
Marquette (6-2) has recovered well from their loss to the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks in Brooklyn, reeling off three well-earned victories since then. This includes an overtime win over the Louisville Cardinals in Brooklyn and an impressive effort over No. 12 Kansas State in front of their home crowd.
Speaking of their home crowd, MU remains undefeated at home (5-0) since the Fiserv Forum has opened its doors. They intend to keep that streak intact when they face UTEP.
Markus Howard will be looking to build off his 45-point outburst. The Miners’ defensive gameplan will surely be centered around neutralizing him. However, if he is able to attack the paint even half as aggressively as he did on Saturday, he should be in for another solid night.
The Golden Eagles are heavily favored in this game. Therefore, it should be a relatively light night as long as they are efficient from 3-point range (36.2 percent on the year) and the free throw line (77.1 percent, 19th in D-I).
About the Other Guys
The UTEP Miners (3-4) are in their first year under head coach Rodney Terry. Terry comes to El Paso after seven seasons at Fresno State. He succeeds Phil Johnson, who helmed the latter 25 games of the 2017-18 season in an interim role after the infamous Tim Floyd retired six games into the campaign.
As is normally the case for new eras in college hoops, UTEP is a young team. The starting lineup consists of three freshman, a sophomore, and a senior. As such, they are still finding their way on both sides of the ball. Their 95.7 offensive rating is ranked 305th in the country and their 96.8 defensive rating is 140th.
Competing with Marquette will be a tall task, as they’ve struggled against higher competition. Their 77-47 victory over the Northwestern State Demons this past Saturday is their only win over a DI opponent this year. They’ve taken losses to New Mexico State (Twice, home and away), New Mexico, and Arizona.
Evan Gilyard, a 5’10” sophomore from Chicago, is the leading man at UTEP. He averages 19.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists per game. He is backed up by the starting frontcourt of freshman center Efe Odigie and senior power forward Paul Thomas. Odigie averages 14.3 points and 8.6 rebounds per game, while Thomas averages 10.4 points, 4.6 points, and 2.0 assists per game.