Marquette beats LSU 94-84 for third in Maui

LAHAINA, HI - NOVEMBER 22: Matt Heldt #12 of the Marquette Golden Eagles looks for an open man as he is guarded closely by Aaron Epps #21 of the LSU Tigers during the first half of their game at the Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Civic Center on November 22, 2017 in Lahaina, Hawaii. (Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images)

LAHAINA, Hawaii — Andrew Rowsey scored 24 of his 30 points in the second half and Marquette pulled away for a 94-84 victory over LSU in the third-place game of the Maui Invitational on Wednesday.

Marquette (3-2) had trouble getting Rowsey or Markus Howard open looks in the first half, but Sam Hauser picked up the slack, scoring 18 of his 20 points in the opening 20 minutes.

The Golden Eagles built a big early lead behind Hauser, watched the Tigers rally by halftime and started stretching the lead back behind Rowsey, who hit all 16 of his free-throw attempts.

Marquette shot 58 percent, made 11 of 24 from 3-point range and 31 of 35 free throws to leave Maui 2-1.

Freshman Tremont Waters kept LSU (3-2) in it almost singlehandedly, scoring 39 points on 13-of-22 shooting while dishing out four assists.

Earlier this week, LSU outlasted Michigan for a two-point victory before getting run out of the tiny Lahaina Civic Center by No. 13 Notre Dame in the semifinals.

Marquette rolled over VCU in its opener behind Rowsey and Howard, who combined for 42 points. They combined for 51 points against No. 6 Wichita State, but the Shockers were too good at both ends in an 80-66 win in the semifinals.

With LSU keying on those two in the third-place game, Hauser took over.

The 6-foot-8 sophomore repeatedly slipped into gaps in LSU’s defense and his teammates found him. Hauser hit five straight shots — four 3s — to open the game and had 15 points in the first 6 minutes.

A hot Hauser sparked Marquette’s offense, leading the Golden Eagles to a 13-point lead midway through the first half.

Waters brought the Tigers back, confidently stroking in 3-pointers and driving to the basket. LSU’s freshman point guard had 22 points by halftime, hitting 4 of 6 from the 3-point arc to pull within 46-44.

Marquette maintained a small cushion through the first part of the second half and started to run away with it with about 8 minutes left. The Golden Eagles closed in around the Tigers on defense and went on an 11-0 run to go up 75-61.

Rowsey, quiet to that point, hit a 3-pointer during the run and later hit three free throws after getting yet another defender to bite on an up-fake shooting a 3. He added a long 3-pointer over the long arm of Duop Reath to put the Golden Eagles up 15, staring down LSU’s 6-foot-11 forward as they ran back.

LSU cut the lead to 83-76 with 2 minutes left, but could not get closer.

The takeaway

Marquette has three dangerous scorers and trying to stop all of them will be difficult for any team facing the Golden Eagles.

Waters is emerging as a star for LSU, but he can’t do it alone. The Tigers have questions on defense that need to be addressed, too.

Up next

Marquette hosts Eastern Illinois on Monday.

LSU plays Tennessee-Martin on Nov. 29.