Howard scores 26, No. 18 Marquette cruises past Southern

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Markus Howard scored 23 of his 26 points in a hot-shooting first half, and No. 18 Marquette overpowered Southern for an 84-41 win on Friday night.

Howard was 8 for 8 from the field in the opening half, including 5 of 5 from the 3-point arc. He scored all of Marquette’s points during a 15-2 run midway through the first, capping the stretch with back-to-back 3s for a 35-14 lead with 7:46 left.

The first 3 came after defender Brendon Brooks slipped while Howard took a jab-step to free himself for the jumper.

The Golden Eagles (11-2) won their eighth straight game, their longest streak since 2015-16. It was the perfect tuneup before their level of competition picks up next week with the start of Big East play.

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Howard, who averages 25.0 points, was needed for just five minutes in the second half.

Southern (1-12) was no match, as expected for a team that was allowing 83.8 points per contest. The Jaguars left shooters open consistently at the arc, and they couldn’t keep up with the Golden Eagles in transition, where they were outscored 30-2.

Sidney Umude had 10 points for Southern, which was held to 26 percent shooting (14 of 54).

Sam Hauser added 10 points and nine rebounds for Marquette.

BIG PICTURE

Southern: Trailing 48-17 at the half, Southern was dominated in early every important statistical category including points off turnovers (22-6) and rebounds (53-25). At least credit the undersized team for showing fearlessness with the ball, driving the lane to try to create offense. It rarely worked, though, as players missed while trying to make off-balance shots over Marquette’s bigger interior defenders.

Marquette: This game resembled a preseason scrimmage after about the 11-minute mark of the first half, when Howard went on his personal 15-2 run. With the margin in the 40s for much of the second half, coach Steve Wojciechowski could afford to give key players ample rest.

UP NEXT

Southern: Hosts Prairie View A&M on Jan. 5.

Marquette: Visits St. John’s on Tuesday in its Big East opener.

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