Well, that was pretty fun, huh?
Six Golden Eagles scored in double digits on Wednesday night (and we do mean night with that 9pm Central start) as Marquette men’s basketball kicked off the 2020-21 season with a 99-57 victory over Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The Golden Eagles are 1-0 and have won their season opener for the fifth straight season.
After a very auspicious start where both teams turned it over on their first two possessions, including back-to-back traveling calls by Koby McEwen, Marquette settled in and immediately took control of the ballgame. McEwen broke the ice on the proceedings, canning a triple off a pass from freshman big man Dawson Garcia to kick off a 17-2 start to the game. That turned into 36-6 on a Greg Elliott three-pointer with 6:22 left to go in the half as the Golden Eagles went on a 16-0 run to bust the door down and run away and hide. It was 50-18 at the half, largely because the Golden Lions wouldn’t stop turning it over and/or fouling Marquette. The visitors had 12 turnovers in the first 20 minutes and sent MU to the line 26 times. Just for context: Marquette only shot 23 field goals in the first half, so yeah, 26 free throws is a lot.
The lead hit 40 on a Theo John putback to make it 61-20 with 16:54 to go, and that’s about all we really need to say about the tick-tock of how the scoring went. The good news is that gives us an opening to gush about Theo John for a while. The senior big man from Minneapolis was REDONKULOUS in this game, posting a double-double on 13 points and 12 rebounds, and he fooled around and added an assist, a steal, and five blocks in just 23 minutes. That’s AWESOME.
Top 40 prospect Dawson Garcia shined in his Marquette debut, leading the team in scoring with 19 points. He went 5-for-8 from the field, including splitting his two long range attempts, and was 8-for-10 from the charity stripe, too. His four rebounds, four assists, and a block were just icing on the cake. Garcia and John were joined in double digit land by Jamal Cain (16), Koby McEwen (12), Justin Lewis (10) and Greg Elliott (10).
Four guys had at least three assist sin the game, led by four each from McEwen and Garcia, while Cain (6) and Symir Torrence (7) both cleared at least five rebounds to contribute to the victory. All 10 available scholarship players saw at least 12 minutes of action, with junior transfer Jose Perez drawing the short straw.
Wanna see some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and FS1?
Up Next: Marquette turns things around relatively quickly, as they’ll host Eastern Illinois at 6:30pm on Friday night. That is a time change from the original announcement, and it’s a TV network change, too, as the game will now be on FS1 and not FS2. The Panthers lost 77-67 to #7 Wisconsin on Wednesday night in their season opener.