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The Quick & The Dirty: Marquette 88, Loyola Maryland 53

There’s only two things you need to know about this game, and they’re both awesome.

Big East Basketball Tournament - Semifinals Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

ITEM #1: Marquette jumped out to a 21-0 lead against Loyola Maryland on Tuesday night, and I feel like I don’t have to tell you twice that starting off your season on a 21-0 run is a very good way to start. Ending the night with a 35 point win, 88-53, is also a very good way to wrap up that good start.

ITEM #2: Markus Howard goddamned near got the 31 points he needed to break Jerel McNeal’s all-time scoring record in the first half. Noted Good Referee Pat Driscoll did Howard the favor of sending him to the line for three free throws with one second left while Howard was sitting on 28 first half points.

I will go to my grave insisting that Markus missed the third free throw on purpose. He hit the first two, tying McNeal’s record of 1,985 career points, and went to the locker room with 30 first half points.

After the most Steve Wojciechowski start ever to the second half — a very deliberate post touch and baby hook from Theo John, I saw it nine million times with Luke Fischer — Howard smashed McNeal’s record on MU’s very next possession. Not surprisingly, it came on a pull-up three-pointer in transition.

Howard finished the game with 38 points, knocking down 11 of his 20 shots on the night, including seven of his long range bombs. He’s now sitting on 1,993 career points, thus giving him a pretty good shot at becoming Marquette men’s basketball’s first ever 2,000 point scorer when MU’s next game comes around.

As far as anything else in the game goes, uh, well, it’s mostly pointless to talk about. As mentioned, the Golden Eagles were up 21-0 in the first six minutes and change. The lead would go as low as 18 in the first half and as high as 32. Marquette never led by fewer than 21 points in the entire second half and peaked at 37 points on a late triple by Koby McEwen. It was a one-sided asskicking that would have been much, much, much worse if MU hadn’t turned the ball over 21 times.

Chew that one over for a while.

The point is that there’s not much to talk about in terms of recapping the action here, as Marquette looked absurdly great while Markus Howard was gunning for McNeal’s record, Once he had it and elected to stop shooting, the game was wildly out of reach and never even came close to being in danger, so it doesn’t matter what actually happened in any of that part of it.

Up Next: Marquette will have more than a week off before their next game. Purdue comes to town next Wednesday as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Boilermakers start their season off as a heavy, heavy home favorite against Green Bay on Wednesday night in West Lafayette, Indiana.