How to Watch
Time: Noon ET
Watch Online: Fox Sports Go
Spread: Marquette -1.5
Moneyline: Marquette -126 | St. John’s +108
Two teams in need of more momentum face off on Saturday.
Both Marquette and St. John’s were winners back on Tuesday. The Johnnies dismissed Butler in Queens while the Golden Eagles took the Musketeers down. Now, the two programs, each sitting at 7-6, are set to square off in a pivotal showdown.
Marquette’s prodigious offense has kept them in games this season. But have shown to be prone to defensive lapses from time to time. Notably, they gave up an 18-point lead recently to UConn and did leak a bit to Providence before holding firm. They have been skittish since starting off 4-1, going 3-5 over that stretch of games. In fairness, they have collected two wins in the last three times they’ve taken the court.
St. John’s, meanwhile, has been struggling in Big East play as well. They’ve gone 2-5 but have rallied a bit since an 0-3 start. They’ve gone 2-2, with an aforementioned win over Butler in their last matchup. That was an encouraging performance, especially after an uncompetitive loss to Creighton back on Saturday, January 9.
Frankly, one should expect points to be scored in bunches in this game. Both teams have been horrible at defending the 3-point shot. Marquette ranks 245th in the nation, while St. John’s ranks 293rd. In Big East play, the two teams rank dead last and 8th respectively in 3-point defense. The Golden Eagles sit fourth in conference play in 3-point FG% while St. John’s is 7th, but is still above the nation’s average (33.5) by nearly 1.5 percentage points (34.9).
One point of attack that could be scary for St. John’s is on the interior. They are dead last in Big East play in 2-point FG% allowed. Marquette ranks fifth in the conference, having made over 50 percent of their opportunities. With the likes of Dawson Garcia and Theo John to worry about, that tandem may wreak havoc. MU’s interior defense has been awesome, ranking second in the conference at the moment in league play. If St. John’s can’t finesse their way around that, then MU could find a huge exploit to attack on.