Short-handed and in hostile territory, Notre Dame ran into a perfect storm earlier this month in suffering its worst loss of the season at Big East rival Marquette.
Back home and with Carleton Scott healthy, the 16th-ranked Fighting Irish seek to avenge that defeat Saturday night against the Golden Eagles.Scott, a versatile forward who averages 11.5 points and 6.1 rebounds while shooting 36.7 percent from 3-point range, was sidelined with a strained hamstring as Notre Dame (15-4, 4-3) lost 79-57 on Jan. 10.Dwight Buycks went 5 for 5 from 3-point range and finished with a career-high 21 points as Marquette (13-6, 4-2) made 12 of 17 from beyond the arc and shot 53.1 percent overall."I wouldn't have wanted to play horse against them," coach Mike Brey said after that loss. "You're glad a night like this counts as one loss. It counts as one."Brey will have his senior for the rematch after he made a surprise return Wednesday versus No. 25 Cincinnati. Scott played 15 minutes off the bench and hit a pair of 3-pointers -- his only shots -- in a 66-58 win as the Irish improved to 12-0 at home."When I hit the first shot, it was like a weight coming off my shoulders," said Scott, whose 3-pointer forced overtime last season in a 63-60 win at Marquette on March 6. "I was so anxious to get back out there, so to get that first one, it felt great."Notre Dame hit 7 of 14 shots from 3-point range after making a combined 6 of 31 in road losses to Marquette and St. John's last week. The Irish have been incredibly efficient at home, averaging 83.2 points while shooting 42.5 percent from 3-point range and 48.4 percent overall.Scott's presence may make it more difficult for the Golden Eagles to focus defensively on Ben Hansbrough and Tim Abromaitis. They have 84 3-pointers and average 31.1 points between them but were held to 18 in the loss at Milwaukee.Marquette routed DePaul 94-64 on Tuesday, bouncing back from a staggering road loss at then-No. 18 Louisville last Saturday in which it blew an 18-point lead in the final 5:44.Jimmie Butler and Darius Johnson-Odom each scored 20 points Tuesday for the Golden Eagles, who are beginning a four-game stretch against ranked opponents that features top 10 teams Connecticut, Syracuse and Villanova."Nobody feels sorry for us ... we've played six games, we're 4-2," coach Buzz Williams said. "Our next pod of six, four are on the road and two at home and the first two on the road are back-to-back and we have to be on point. We ended the first season of six in the right way."Johnson-Odom, who went 4 for 7 from beyond the arc Tuesday, is averaging 19.8 points while shooting 44.7 percent from 3-point range in Big East play. Jae Crowder, who hit four 3-pointers in the win over Notre Dame, has gone 0 for 6 from long range in his last two games but is shooting 53.0 percent overall.Butler is 13 points shy of becoming the 42nd Marquette player to reach 1,000.Notre Dame leads the overall series 78-36, but Marquette has won six of nine since joining the Big East in 2005.