As we laid out in the preview for Tuesday night, there was at least a little bit of trepidation as to how Marquette men’s basketball would look in their first game back on the mainland after finishing second at the 2023 Maui Invitational in Hawaii.
And then Marquette, fresh off their new #3 ranking in the Associated Press top 25, took an 8-0 lead in the first 91 seconds against Southern.
Was the entirety of the 40 minutes a picnic? No, not really, but that’s mostly due to Southern’s Jordan Johnson going haywire for 20 points off the bench in the first 20 minutes. Marquette never relinquished the lead and Southern never even tied the game, but it stayed close and competitive for most of the first half as a result.
With 11:44 left in the first 20 minutes, Chase Ross scored to make it 22-18 Marquette. That was the first bucket in a 15-0 Marquette run. 35-18 at the end of it, and with 2:29 left before intermission, Tyler Kolek drained a three-pointer, the the fourth of four from him in the first half, and the Golden Eagles were up 20 for the first time.
Whatever mystery remained after the 16 point halftime advantage was wiped away by the 11:18 mark of the second half. That was when Ben Gold scored on a putback to cap a 14-1 Marquette run and put the Golden Eagles up 74-42. 32 point lead. G’night, everyone.
Stevie Mitchell subbed out at the 8:37 mark with Marquette up 79-44, and he was the last starter to see any action here. Sean Jones gets credit for the big capper, scoring a layup after a steal of his own to make it 85-44, Marquette’s first 40 point lead of the game. The walk-ons checked in with exactly two minutes to go, and MU was up 93-51 at that point.
By the way, Jordan Johnson? MU held him to one free throw in the second half.
Tyler Kolek led MU in scoring with 16 thanks to his 4-for-5 long range shooting, and he tied with Oso Ighodaro and Sean Jones for the team lead in assists with three. Kolek was one of five Golden Eagles who hit double digits in scoring as it was very much a team outing in that regard. Ben Gold led all players in rebounds with eight, and things went so well that Al Amadou had six points, four rebounds, an assist, and two blocks in 12 minutes of action.
How about some highlights, courtesy of GoMarquette.com and Fox Sports?
Up Next: Marquette hits the road, although only for a short jaunt. On Saturday morning, they’ll be in the Kohl Center in Madison to take on Wisconsin. Tip off on big fancy broadcast Fox is set for 11:30am. The Badgers are 5-2 on the year, including a 14 point win over Virginia on a neutral court.