Markus Howard scores 23 as No. 12 Marquette holds off DePaul 79-69
MILWAUKEE — Markus Howard scored 13 of his 23 points in the final six minutes and Sam Hauser added 19 as 12th-ranked Marquette held off DePaul 79-69 on Wednesday night to remain unbeaten at home.
DePaul, which trailed by 14 in the first half, pulled to 56-52 on Max Strus’ layup with 7:31 remaining. Hauser appeared to counter with a 3-pointer as the shot clock wound down, but it was waved off after review.
Howard then scored five consecutive points to trigger an 11-point run. Marquette extended the lead to 67-56 on two free throws by Hauser with 3:47 left. The Golden Eagles (17-3, 6-1 Big East) scored 17 of their final 23 points from the free throw line to improve to 14-0 at the new Fiserv Forum.
Howard, who entered first in the Big East and fifth in the nation in scoring at 24.4 points per game, was 4 of 10 from the field — including 1 for 3 in the second half. He was 0 for 2 from 3-point range but made all 15 free throw attempts.
Theo John scored a career-high 16 points for Marquette, and Joey Hauser had 14.
Paul Reed had 18 points and Femi Olujobi added 15 for the Blue Demons (11-7, 3-4).
DePaul scored the first eight points of the second half, pulling to 40-35 on Reed’s driving layup. John converted a three-point play at 16:20 for Marquette’s first points after halftime.
Marquette finished the first half with a 20-6 run for a 40-27 lead at the break. The Blue Demons went more than 5½ minutes without a field goal until Lyrik Schreiner’s 3-pointer with 30 seconds left made it 38-27.
DePaul hit seven of its first 13 shots but went 4 for 17 the rest of the half.
The Golden Eagles were sluggish early, making just six of their first 21 shots. The score was tied at 18 with 6:32 left in the half as Marquette had seven turnovers to just six field goals.
DePaul: After a three-game skid, the Blue Demons had won three of four coming in, including a victory at St. John’s and two wins over Seton Hall. As such, DePaul would have to win just four of its remaining games for its first winning regular season since 2006-07.
Marquette: Needs to continue showing improvement on the road. After dropping their first two road games, along with an NIT Season Tip-Off loss to Kansas, the Golden Eagles have posted a pair of narrow road victories, 106-104 in overtime at Creighton and 74-71 at Georgetown. Marquette’s next two games are on the road at Xavier and Butler.
DePaul is at Providence on Sunday.
Marquette is at Xavier on Saturday.