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The Quick & The Dirty: Marquette 80, Mount St. Mary’s 59

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The Golden Eagles are 1-0 after handling the Mountaineers with relative ease.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-South Carolina vs Marquette Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

YOUR Marquette Golden Eagles never led by less than 10 for the final 26 minutes and never less than 21 in the second half as they coasted to a season opening 80-59 win over Mount St. Mary’s.

The lead actually ballooned as high as 37 at the midway point of the second half, but head coach Steve Wojciechowski very clearly took his foot off the gas at that point, giving his freshmen lots of playing time along with redshirt sophomore Sacar Anim, who entered the game with just 83 minutes of collegiate experience. The Mount assembled a 12-0 run late in the game to drag the game back towards respectability, but they were still trailing by 21 with a shade over three minutes to play. Let’s not kid ourselves here.

It was a quality performance in a season opener by a team with just two players with more than one season worth of on-court experience with Marquette. Every active scholarship player on the roster played, with everyone getting at least 12 minutes of action. All of them scored at least two points. Everyone grabbed at least one rebound. The team shot over 50% from the field and they won in convincing fashion while struggling to connect from long distance, which was last year’s calling card. MU was just 6-of-21 (29%) on threes, but it really didn’t matter all that much.

Marquette broke the game open late in the first half. After building a lead out to 12 points on an Andrew Rowsey layup at the 10:50 mark, a three-pointer by MSM’s Jonah Antonio just over two minutes later slashed that lead in half. Things could have gone really sideways for the Golden Eagles, but they showed the steel in their spine by answering with the next four points of the game, and ultimately closed the half on a 22-7 run that essentially ended the competitive portion of the evening. If that didn’t, opening up the second half on a 12-2 run capped by a Sacar Anim bucket sure did.

Play of the Game: Hey, kids, wanna see why Steve Wojciechowski recruited Jamal Cain? HERE YOU GO!

Please note the business decision by MSM’s Junior Robinson, who stands just 5’5”. “Wait, how tall is that dude?? Naaaaaaaah.”

Player of the Game: Ohhhhhhh you better believe it’s Andrew Rowsey. After Marquette struggled to beat Lindenwood with the redshirt senior on the bench for an undetermined discipline reason stemming back before Marquette Madness, Rowsey was a man possessed on Friday night. Knowing that Markus Howard might be a little limited by an ankle sprain, Rowsey went for a game high 23 points along with three rebounds, five assists, and three steals, all in just 26 minutes. He was 7-of-16 from the field, a perfectly acceptable 3-of-8 from long range, 6-of-7 on free throws. Oh, and he also made sure to provide the first #TheThing of the season.

How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports Wisconsin?

Up Next: Marquette returns to action on Tuesday night when they host #20 Purdue. It’ll be Marquette’s second game as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, and the Boilermakers started off their season with a 105-74 victory against SIUE and the Fightin’ Jon Harrises.