Penn State hoops visits Marquette in NIT quarterfinals
UNIVERSITY PARK – After taking down top-seeded Notre Dame 73-63 Saturday in the second round of the NIT Tournament, Penn State will face the No. 2 seed Marquette on the road tonight at 7 p.m. on ESPN.
Penn State sophomore guard Tony Carr bounced back from a 2-point performance in the opening round win over Temple by scoring a team-high 24 points in the victory against Notre Dame. Carr’s 24 points put him above Talor Battle for the Penn State sophomore scoring record. The Nittany Lions will need a similar performance from Carr against high-scoring Marquette if they hope to advance to the NIT semi-finals at the Madison Square Garden.
Marquette (21-13, 9-9) finished sixth place in the Big East this season, its three-ball kept the team in many competitive games. In fact, this Golden Eagles team fell to Villanova by just three points back in January.
Marquette is ranked third in the country in three-point percentage.
Sophomore guard Markus Howard and senior Andrew Rosey each average 20 points apiece for the Golden Eagles.
The two high-scoring guards made a combined 10 three-pointers in the Marquette’s 101-91 win over Oregon on Sunday.
Penn State will need to play efficiently on the defensive side of the ball in order to contain the three-point scoring barrage of the Golden Eagles.
Josh Reaves could help the Lions win this contest through way of his defensive efforts.
Reaves scored 18 and grabbed nine rebounds in the win over Notre Dame on Saturday.
Reaves is the Big ten leaders in steals and ranks at 13th in the nation in steals per game. A strong defensive game from Reaves could go a long way in containing the Golden Eagles.
Shep Garner will need to be able to knock down shots when it matters if Penn State wants to stay pace with Marquette’s high-powered offense.
If Penn State can get the same production from guards Carr and Reaves as it did in the win over Notre Dame and Penn State gets quality minutes from its bigs – Julian Moore and John Harrar – the Nittany Lions can beat this Marquette team.
HappyValley.com Prediction: Penn State 75, Marquette 70.