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Howard scores 40, Marquette beats Davidson 73-63.

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — Markus Howard scored 40 points as Marquette beat Davidson 73-63 in the opening round of the Orlando Invitational on Thursday night.

It was Howard’s fifth career game of 40 or more points.

With Marquette (4-1) clinging to a 60-59 lead with 2 1/2 minutes to play, Howard made a layup and hit a free throw to complete a three-point play before adding a 3-pointer to key a game-ending Marquette surge.

Kellan Grady had 28 points for Davidson (2-4). He picked up 14 points to help the Wildcats go up 26-25 at the half.

Howard scored 15 first-half points, including a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Davidson went 0 for 15 from 3-point range, ending a streak making at least one long-range jumper at 809 consecutive games. The previous time the Wildcats didn’t make a 3 was Jan. 15, 1994 in a 65-63 win at East Tennessee State.

Marquette, which also got 12 points from Sacar Anim, converted 6 of 17 from behind the arc.

Davidson stayed close by dominating in the paint, outscoring Marquette 34-14.

BIG PICTURE

Marquette: Held its previous four opponents to 36% shooting. Davidson, however, connected for 45.8% (11 of 24) in the first half. The Wildcats ended up at 45.3% (24 of 53).

Davidson: Played the second game in a stretched of nine of 10 road games. It should be a test for how the Wildcats handle adversity heading into the conference schedule in January.

UP NEXT

Marquette faces USC in a Friday semifinal.

Davidson will meet Fairfield in the consolation round.

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