Markus Howard Gives No. 20 Marquette Golden Eagles Boost in Win Over North Dakota Fighting Hawks
MILWAUKEE (AP) — The rust from a 10-day layoff showed at times Tuesday night for No. 20 Marquette, especially during a sloppy stretch of nine turnovers in the opening nine minutes.
Markus Howard restored order in a hurry at the arc.
Howard scored 26 points, including 19 over the final 10:22 of the first half to help stabilize the Golden Eagles after a disjointed start in a 92-66 win over North Dakota.
The sharpshooting guard was 9 of 13 from the field and 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. He scored 14 straight points for Marquette in the middle of a 30-9 run over the final nine minutes of the first half that allowed the Golden Eagles to seize control.
"He can have a stretch where he's making the right basketball plays, and that may mean he doesn't get as many shots," coach Steve Wojciechowski said. "And then he can have a stretch where opportunities present themselves, and when they do he normally delivers."
Howard didn't even take a shot until about midway through the first half. Sam Hauser added 21 points for Marquette (9-2).
Cortez Seales had 14 points and seven rebounds for North Dakota (6-6), which trailed by 22 at the break.
The Golden Eagles hadn't played in 10 days because of final exams, and the normally loud Fiserv Forum was quieter with students on break.
Marquette played typically solid defense, holding North Dakota to 36 percent shooting — including 15 percent from the 3-point line (3 of 20).
But the Golden Eagles finished with 22 turnovers.
"We were just being aggressive there," North Dakota coach Brian Jones said. "Offensively, I thought when we had patience and we moved the ball, we had great shots, but they didn't go in."
Averaging 14.4 turnovers per game, Marquette had committed nine less than 11 minutes in.
"With us just having 10 days off, we were just too excited, we were a little amped up coming out," forward Ed Morrow said.
Howard helped settle the team down.
The junior had a four-point play after hitting a 3 from the corner with 8:20 left in the first half. He followed with a step-back 3 from the wing 40 seconds later for a 26-20 lead.
Howard finished his 14-point spurt with another 3 with 6:09 remaining to put Marquette up by 11, well on its way to a sixth straight victory.
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