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Chicago State (1-0) at (15) Marquette (1-0)



Monday, November 17th, 8:00 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Pat Taggart, Associate College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Bradley Center (18,850) -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Television: Local. Home Record: Chicago St. 1-0, Marquette 1-0. Away Record: Chicago St. 0-0, Marquette 0-0. Neutral Record: Chicago St. 0-0, Marquette 0-0. Conference Record: Chicago St. 0-0, Marquette 0-0. Series Record: Marquette leads, 5-0.

GAME NOTES: The 15th-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles are one of many outstanding Big East Conference teams, and the club will play host to non- league foe Chicago State this evening.

On Friday, Chicago State opened the season at home against Saint Xavier, and the result of that clash was a resounding 112-83 victory. The Cougars welcome back 10 letterwinners and four starters from last year's 11-17 squad, and second-year head coach Benjy Taylor has reason to expect improvement. The program is a Division I Independent and thus plays a schedule full of games against teams from a variety of conferences.

Marquette is now 77-15 all-time in season openers after crushing Houston Baptist by a 95-64 final on Friday to open the Buzz Williams-era in style. The Golden Eagles have reached three consecutive NCAA Tournaments and figure to make a run at a fourth thanks to plenty of solid returning talent.

Marquette has beaten Chicago State by double figures in all five previous meetings between the two teams.

In Friday's season opener against Saint Xavier, Chicago State senior David Holston poured in a game-high 32 points en route to becoming the program's all-time Division I scoring leader. Sophomore Carl Montgomery added a double- double of 23 points and a game-high 12 rebounds to go with three blocks for CSU. Montgomery finished the game going 8-of-8 from the field and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line. John Cantrell contributed 15 points and senior Tawrence Walton added 10 points with seven boards. An early 16-6 run enabled the Cougars to grab a comfortable advantage, and they played with the lead for the rest of the contest. They led by 25 points at intermission and never looked back.

Wesley Matthews poured in a career-high 27 points to lead Marquette to an easy victory over Houston Baptist on Friday. Jerel McNeal added 20 points and Lazar Hayward posted 19 points and 12 rebounds in the win. The Golden Eagles opened the game with 14 unanswered points and never trailed. In addition to his scoring output, Matthews had a career-high eight assists and five steals, proof of his all-around ability. Dominic James, one of three starting guards along with McNeal and Matthews, was limited to five points, but he did post six steals to go with five assists. The Golden Eagles shot 51.5 percent from the floor, limited the opposition to 39.6 percent shooting, and posted a 41-31 rebounding advantage. Matthews, James, McNeal and Hayward all averaged double figures in scoring a year ago.

Clearly, Marquette is the smart pick in this contest. Expect the Golden Eagles to jump on top early an win by at least 25 points.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marquette 88, Chicago State 55

11/17 15:48:14 ET