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5:00 PM PT6:00 PM MT7:00 PM CT8:00 PM ET1:00 PM GMT9:00 PM 北京时间6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST, Dec 28, 2018
Fiserv Forum, Milwaukee, Wisconsin  Attendance: 16,075

No. 18 Marquette going for seven straight against Southern

MILWAUKEE -- It's been nearly six weeks since Marquette was throttled by 23 points at then-No. 14 Indiana and a little more than a month since the Golden Eagles allowed a 22-point second-half run in a loss to then No. 2 Kansas.

Things have been much different ever since for the Golden Eagles, who have won seven in a row since falling to the Jayhawks and wrap up the nonconference portion of their schedule against Southern (1-11) Friday night in Milwaukee.

"To this point, I think our team has done a good job," head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. "I think we've gotten a lot better since the beginning of the season.

"We challenged ourselves with a difficult non-conference (schedule). I like the potential of this group. We've played well at times but there are certainly areas we can get better in."

During their winning streak, the Golden Eagles have knocked off three ranked opponents -- Kansas State, Wisconsin and Buffalo -- while winning six games on their home court.

Those victories likely wouldn't have happened were it not for the growth of some of Marquette's younger players. Freshman Joe Hauser moved into the starting five after scoring 18 against Indiana and has reached double digits in points in three of his last four games.

Forward Ed Morrow and sophomore Theo John have seen their playing time increase, too, over the last few weeks and together, they've provided the Golden Eagles a pair of anchors in the front court -- especially on the defensive end, where they've provided much-needed rim protection.

"I have been pleased with the improvements that we've made defensively," Wojciechowski said. "Obviously that's been a point of emphasis and our guys have responded to that collectively, so we're pleased."

There is still plenty of room for improvement with Big East Conference play right around the corner, especially on the offensive end where turnovers have been an ongoing problem this season. Marquette turned the ball over at least 20 times in three games during its winning streak and Wojciechowski would like to see his team use this final tuneup to correct that issue.

"Offensively, we're still a work in progress in terms of taking care of the ball and making sure the ball finds the best shot each time down the floor," he said.

"But I think we got out of the nonconference -- at this point -- what we wanted."

The Jaguars (1-11) have played a tough nonconference slate themselves but with vastly different results. Marquette is their first ranked opponent but they opened the season with losses at Alabama, Baylor, Louisville and George Mason and have dropped five in a row since their lone victory -- a 74-65 defeat of Wiley, an NAIA school, back on Nov. 27.

They'll have their work cut out for them trying to stop Marquette junior guard Markus Howard, who scored 40 of his 45 points including 25 in a row in the second half last week against Buffalo and has two 40-point games this season.

Updated December 27, 2018

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