Whatever head coach Steve Wojciechowski is saying in his halftime speeches, it’s really working.
Marquette outscored Howard 47-26 after the break on Monday night on their way to an 81-49 victory over the Bison. Jajuan Johnson was the major figure in the second half outburst, scoring 11 of his tied-for-the-team-high 14 points after intermission on 4-of-5 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from the free throw line.
It’s the second straight game where Wojciechowski’s charges have come out of the locker room and destroyed their opponents with no regard for human life. While it’s been fun to see the team adjust and play better, at some point, this isn’t going to keep working.
Neither team played particularly well in the first half, which ended with Marquette up 34-23 in a largely unimpressive fashion. The Golden Eagles ratcheted up their defense in the second half, holding Howard to just 27.6% shooting, and cranked up their offense, boosting their shooting percentage from 45% to 57%.
The game picked up a whole big bowl of drama early in the second half when Luke Fischer got run through while trying to draw a charge and took the major amount of the impact with the floor on his surgically repaired left shoulder. Fischer’s been wearing kinesio tape on the shoulder all season, so it’s not surprising that the impact left him grabbing and wincing in pain. He immediately headed back to the locker room, but would be back on the bench less than 10 real time minutes after the apparent injury and quickly went back into the game with no ill effects.
Marquette officially said it was a contusion, and since he did re-enter this game, there’s no reason to think he won’t be available on Thursday, when Marquette will be in New York City to face Michigan in the 2K Classic.
Johnson tied with Katin Reinhardt for the team high in points, but they were joined in double-digit territory by three of their teammates as well. Haanif Cheatham may have had the best night of anyone on the court, finishing with 12 points, seven rebounds, and six assists.
Until Thursday, everyone......