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Marquette dominates in 32 point win against Howard

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Katin Reinhardt scored a team-leading 14 points in Marquette's 81-49 victory.

Katin Reinhardt scored a team-leading 14 points in Marquette's 81-49 victory.

Photo by Mike Carpenter

Photo by Mike Carpenter

Katin Reinhardt scored a team-leading 14 points in Marquette's 81-49 victory.

Grant Becker, Assistant Sports Editor

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The first half wasn’t pretty, but Marquette men’s basketball cleaned things up in the second half to earn an 81-49 victory against Howard.

Katin Reinhardt and Jajuan Johnson led the way for the Golden Eagles with 14 points each, but it was Haanif Cheatham who was the box score star of the game. The sophomore put up 12 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals.

The game was tight for the first seven minutes thanks to five early turnovers from Marquette. Freshman Sam Hauser was responsible for three of them. After the under-12 minute timeout, the Golden Eagles slowly turned a two point lead into a double digit advantage which they would not relinquish.

It was the Bison’s unique zone that caused problems for Marquette.

“Most zone defenses have an air of predictability to them,” head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “You know where you can pretty much tell your team what the rotations are going to be, what it’s going to look like and their zone takes a lot of different shapes, sometimes in the course of a possession.”

The Bison scored the first bucket of the second half, but Marquette answered with a 12-0 run. The nine point halftime lead grew to a game-high 32 point for the Golden Eagles when the game finished.

“The second half we had a feel for what they were doing,” Reinhardt said. “So we kinda were able to attack the gaps and get to open spots better than the first half, but you know we have to start the game better and we’ll do that.”

The Golden Eagles relied on a massive offensive performance in the second half once again, posting 47 points over the final 20 minutes after scoring 56 in the second half against Vanderbilt. Marquette outscored its two opponents this season by a total of 57 points in the second half.

Five Marquette players finished the game in double digits. In addition to Johnson, Reinhardt and Cheatham, freshmen Markus Howard and Sam Hauser added 12 and 10 points respectively.

All 11 active scholarship players reached double digit minutes tonight, but no player eclipsed 27 minutes on the floor.

“We’ve been able to play 11 guys double figure minutes,” Wojciechowski said. “A lot of that’s a function of being up 30 in both games. But, you know, again, I’d be okay with us being up 30 for the rest of the season, in every game. But I certainly don’t anticipate it. You know the rotation’s probably not going to be as big in tighter games than it has been in these first two games.”

Wojciechowski named four players who earned places at the top of the rotation, but said the point guard position will be about who has the hot hand.

“You know I think Katin and J.J. and Haney, you have to have those three guys on the court a lot,” Wojciechowski said. “Obviously you’ve got to have Luke on the floor a lot. I think the one position, I think we’re getting pretty good play from, where there isn’t as much separation is at the point guard position.”

Luke Fischer left the game and went to the locker room with an apparent shoulder injury early in the second half, but returned and added one more bucket.

“I can’t say what I was thinking (when Luke was hurt),” Wojciechowski said. “But it was certainly good to see him come back out. … He’ll be fine, but maybe a little sore from the tackle.”

Sam Hauser played 20 minutes and spent a good portion of that time at the five. He went three for four from downtown and added six rebounds, recovering well from his slow start.

“Since we got here in the summer we’ve been practicing (small ball),” Reinhardt said. “If we have that lineup in the game, which is going to happen sometimes, we just have to play hard, rebound. We have to make sure we rebound with that lineup. Offensively we’ll be fine, we can space the floor. We’ve got a lot of shooters on the floor when Sam’s at the five.”

Marquette’s strong shooting continued tonight as they knocked down nine of their 21 long balls and shot 50.9 percent from the floor overall.

The Golden Eagles (2-0) will head to New York for the next leg of the 2K Classic. Marquette plays Michigan (2-0) in one of their marquee non-conference matchups Thursday night.

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