Coming off an 0-2 road trip which had Providence 12-11 (4-7) get beat by Cincinnati 14-8 (5-5) and Syracuse 22-1 (9-1), the Friars looked to rebound at the dunk against the Marquette Golden Eagles 15-8 (6-5) on parents weekend.
Going with a minor starting lineup adjustment, Providence coach Keno Davis decided to start junior forward Marshon Brooks instead of freshman point guard Vincent Council who had been getting the nod recently.
Taking a 15-10 lead in the first five minutes of the game stemmed from two quick threes by fifth year senior Sharaud Curry as the Friars went with a smaller lineup of Council, Curry, and Brooks all on the floor at the same time.
Jumping to a 24-14 lead with twelve minutes to play in the first half gave the sell out crowd some hope of an upset, as the No. 1 rebounding team in the Big East controlled the glass on both offensive and defensive ends.
A timeout by Marquette coach Buzz Williams quieted the crowd and cooled the Friars leading as the Golden Eagles went with full court pressure for the majority of rest of the first half.
With Providence out of their flow offensively, Marquette sneaked back into to game, cutting the Friars lead to three, 35-32 at the three minute mark.
Closing out the half with a 22-16 run, Marquette found themselves down a more respectable four points, compared to ten earlier in the game.
Even being an undersized team against most opponents, the Friars had the advantage inside against the Golden Eagles as they scored thirty points in the paint, most from forward Jamine Peterson and Bilal Dixon who combined for twenty-one.
Though Peterson and Dixon both ended the game with double digit points and rebounds, the favorable match ups they had were not abused.
Early in the second half it looked Providence would come out of the game with a win as they took a commanding 49-41 lead with sixteen to play.
Marquette however, did not get rattled and kept chipping away with excellent passing against the Friars zone defense creating open looks from three point range.
Biting on the pump fake consistently, the Providence defense allowed Marquette to get into the paint, collapse the defense, and therefore creating open passing lanes for their deadly three-point shooters.
Forward Lazar Hayward hit big shot after big shot for Marquette as he finished with twenty-eight points on 10-18 shooting including 5-9 from beyond the arc.
With the game tied up at sixty-eight with a little over five minutes to play, Providence went back to the full court press, which proved ineffective.
A lack of defensive rebounding and some ill advised Friars turnovers gave Marquette opportunities to capitalize which they did, providing them with a 80-74 lead with just over a minute to play.
Even with Sharaud Curry hitting a clutch three pointer and a steal of the ensuing inbound pass which cut the lead to one, 80-79, Providence again, could not close out the game.
Marquette got another huge offensive rebound from forward Lazar Hayward resulting in two free throws which iced the game 82-79 in favor of the Golden Eagles.
Another could have should have game resulted for the Friars as they continued their losing streak with a brutal schedule coming up the next few weeks.
The Friars face No. 7 Georgetown at home Tuesday 2/9 before heading to No. 3 ranked Villanova next Saturday.
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