Samford (5-8) at Marquette (7-5)
DATE & TIME: Saturday, December 28, 2 p.m. (ET)
FACTS & STATS: Site: BMO Harris Bradley Center (19,000) -- Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Television: FSN. Home Record: Samford 4-1, Marquette 5-1. Away Record: Samford 1-7, Marquette 1-2. Neutral Record: Samford 0-0, Marquette 1-2. Conference Record: Samford 0-0, Marquette 0-0. Series Record: First-ever meeting.
GAME NOTES: The Marquette Golden Eagles resume play following Christmas break on Saturday at the BMO Harris Bradley Center, where they will host the Samford Bulldogs in a non-conference tilt.
Samford has been idle since an impressive 75-58 win at Jacksonville on Dec. 20. That outcome snapped their nine-game road losing streak, which dated back to Feb. 14. Following this contest, the Bulldogs will return home to take on Presbyterian College on Monday before opening their Southern Conference schedule against Wofford on Thursday.
As for Marquette, it is looking to get back on track after falling at home to New Mexico last Saturday, 75-68. It was the Golden Eagles' first home loss in six tries this season. They'll begin their Big East Conference slate at Creighton on New Year's Eve.
This will be the first-ever meeting between these two teams.
The Bulldogs turned in their best defensive performance of the season against Jacksonville, as they held the Dolphins to 38.3-percent shooting from the floor and a season-low 58 points. Samford also got the job done on the offensive end of the floor, shooting a healthy 58.2 percent for the game. In addition, the Bulldogs were active on the glass as they enjoyed a 40-28 rebounding advantage. Tim Williams led all scorers with 25 points, while frontcourt mate Tyler Hood tallied 19 points and seven boards. Williams is averaging a team-best 16.2 points and 6.8 rebounds per game on the season. Joining him in double figures are Isaiah Williams (12.3 ppg) and Raijon Kelly (11.8 ppg).
Leading the way for Marquette is senior forward Davante Gardner, a 54-percent shooter from the floor, who is averaging 13.8 points and 6.5 rebounds despite coming off the bench in all 12 games. Jamil Wilson is next in line with 12.5 ppg. The Golden Eagles led by seven at halftime against New Mexico, but they were out-scored by a 45-31 margin over the final 20 minutes. After shooting 58.3 percent from the floor in the first half, Marquette shot just 36.4 percent in the second stanza while the Lobos got hot as the game progressed. Jake Thomas led the way with 17 points in the loss, as he knocked down 4-of-7 3-pointers. Todd Mayo was the team's only other double-digit scorer, finishing with 10 points in 23 minutes off the bench.
The Bulldogs played perhaps their best game of the season last time out, but can they put forth a similar effort after an eight-day layoff, and playing on the road?
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Marquette 75, Samford 65
12/28 10:44:00 ET