HALFTIME: Fischer leads Marquette to advantage over ASU

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Luke Fischer’s debut as a Marquette Golden Eagle was about as good as expected. For the first time all season, the Golden Eagles had an interior threat on both sides of the floor. Fischer’s presence, along with a strong shooting performance from Jajuan Johnson were the catalysts for Marquette’s 43-32 advantage over the Arizona State Sun Devils at halftime. Marquette’s 43 points exceeded its largest first half scoring total of the season.

Johnson led all scorers in the first half with 12 points and Duane Wilson wasn’t far behind with 11. Fischer didn’t start the game, but he contributed immediately, scoring 10 points with seven rebounds in 15 minutes.

Marquette’s offense was incredibly fluid throughout most of the first half. Strong play on the defensive end led to quick transition baskets. Fischer’s 6-foot-11 frame forced plenty of missed Sun Devil lay ups in the first half, which transferred into quick outlet passes leading into the fastbreak. Marquette scored 14 fastbreak points in the half.

Arizona State is replacing stars Cameron Bachynski and Jahii Carson and struggled offensively. Marquette held the Sun Devils to just 36.7 percent shooting and forced 10 turnovers. The Golden Eagles manufactured only eight points off of those turnovers.

Fischer’s impact on the lineup was evident in the first half as the Golden Eagles earned 28 points in the paint. Steve Taylor Jr. was the odd man out in the first half and played only six minutes in the half.

The Golden Eagles dominated much of the action against an Arizona State squad still searching for its identity. If Marquette can duplicate its 57.6 shooting percentage from the first half of action, it should cruise to an impressive win over a good PAC-12 team.