College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Ranked number 25 in the most recent AP poll, the Marquette Golden Eagles used home court and 22 points and 15 rebounds from Davante Gardner to stop upset-minded St. John's, 83-64, before more than 14,000 fans at Milwaukee's Bradley Center.
After back-to-back losses at Georgetown and Syracuse, Marquette needed a big effort and got one from Gardner, a 6'8" sophomore forward who hit 8 of 13 shots from the floor and added six of eight free throws to achieve a career high in scoring. His 15 boards, another career high, included six on the offensive end, as the Red Storm was out-rebounded by Marquette, 38-29 and shot just 40% from the field while the Golden Eagles were pumping it in at a blazing 56%.
St. John's fell to 8-8, with Marquette improving to 13-4, evening their Big East record at 2-2.
NOTABLE: Top-ranked Syracuse made quick work of an overmatched Villanova squad, 79-66 improving to 18-0 to start the season for the second year in a row.
Super sub Dion Waiters led the Orange with 20 points, as the Orange zone defense held the Wildcats to just 33% shooting. Syracuse has played four road games this season, winning all of them by double digit margins.
Syracuse, one of just three unbeaten Division I teams - Baylor and Murray State are the others - will seek to tie the school record for most consecutive victories to start a season when they host the Providence Friars at the Carrier Dome on Saturday, January 14.
The Orange led the Big East standings with a 5-0 conference record. 4-1 Seton Hall is a surprising second place, followed by Notre Dame and Cincinnati at 3-1.