Lights out! 3s carry Marquette to 82-63 win over Wisconsin
MADISON — Playing on the road against Marquette’s biggest rival, Markus Howard turned to Wisconsin’s vocal student section after making a couple 3s and gestured for fans to quiet down.
All in good fun, the sharpshooting Howard said, though the sophomore will relish his first visit into the Badgers’ hostile lair.
Andrew Rowsey scored 24 points on 5-of-6 shooting from 3-point range, while Howard added 23 points in the 82-63 win on Saturday over Wisconsin.
“My emotions just took over at that point,” said Howard, who was jawing with fans during warmups. “That’s part of the game. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Wisconsin and their fan base.”
But it’s a sweeter trip back to Milwaukee with a win.
The Golden Eagles’ high-scoring backcourt duo played through foul trouble to claim the school’s second straight road victory in a series marking its 100th anniversary. It was also Marquette’s first true road game of the season.
“Just going through this week of preparation, we worked so hard,” Howard said. “It means a lot, coming on the road, this being our first road game and executing our game plan well.”
A 14-4 run highlighted by 10 points from Rowsey over a 3-plus minute span of the second half turned a six-point lead into a 60-46 advantage with 12:04 left for Marquette (7-3), which led comfortably most of the rest of the way at the Kohl Center.
“It was as good of a 40-minute effort was we’ve had all season,” coach Steve Wojociechowski said.
Brad Davison scored 20 points for the Badges, while Ethan Happ added 17 on 8-of-15 shooting.
But season-long offensive woes continued for the Badgers, who had to make a last-minute adjustment playing without two key injured players starting point guard D’Mitrik Trice (foot) and key reserve Kobe King (knee). Happ, one of the best big men in the country, had five of the team’s 12 turnovers.
“They’re upset. They’re very competitive. They want to have success now,” coach Greg Gard said about the team’s morale. “You have to rally, everybody needs to step up … But they’ll bounce back. They’re a resilient group.”
Wisconsin (4-7) fell to three games under .500 for the first time since going 1-4 to start the 2001-02 season, though that team still made the NCAA Tournament. This squad will need a similarly dramatic turnaround to reach the NCAAs for a 20th straight season.
Marquette’s quick guards and wings made easy cuts to the bucket early. Playmakers Rowsey (four fouls) and Howard (three fouls) hit 3s when they weren’t sitting on the bench in foul trouble.
Sam Hauser added 16 points for Marquette.
Marquette: Wojociechowski’s team is fun to watch when they’re hitting 3s. The Golden Eagles at one point hit six straight from behind the arc in building a 17-point lead in the first half before Wisconsin chipped away to get to 41-32 at the half. … Howard presents defenses with a dilemma with his range because the 5-foot-11 sophomore is also quick enough to beat a defender for layups.
Wisconsin: It was an admirable start for a short-handed team that just learned it would be without Trice and King indefinitely. The Badgers were already having enough trouble scoring with them in the lineup. Wisconsin will need more production on both ends of the floor from Brevin Pritzl (10 points) and Khalil Iverson (six points), and hope that Davison, a freshman guard, can continue playing through a lingering left shoulder injury.
Gard said he knew by late Friday morning that Trice would be out, and by Friday night that he would be without King. It made for a challenging adjustment especially with perimeter defense since the Badgers didn’t have a practice without both players.
Davison is quickly developing a reputation as a high-energy leader on the court just one month into his freshman season. He went 11 of 16 from the foul line and drew two more charging fouls.
“The ultimate (competitor) is Davison,” Gard said. “The way he competes is unbelievable.”
Marquette: The addition of 6-foot-11 center Harry Froling next week could help Marquette deal with top post players like Happ down the road. The SMU transfer is eligible to play starting with the team’s next game against Northern Illinois on Dec. 18.
Wisconsin: Hosts Western Kentucky on Wednesday.