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FLOOR SLAPS: Long-range shooting struggles and perimeter defense needs work

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FLOOR SLAPS: Long-range shooting struggles and perimeter defense needs work

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

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The Golden Eagles survived a scare Saturday afternoon as they edged division II side Lindenwood 81-79 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in their second and final exhibition game before the Friday home opener.

Marquette took the lead late and held on

The Golden Eagles had their first lead of the second half when Sacar Anim scored a transition layup off a pass from Haanif Cheatham with 9:17 remaining in the game.

Marquette extended their lead to as much as eight at the 4:53 mark, but as the game drew closer to its end, Marquette’s lead shrunk, almost dwindling away entirely when Jackson Price’s corner three at the buzzer barely rimmed out.

The Lions shot 50 percent from the field in the second half and 53.8 percent from deep, going 14-26 for the game. Marquette had two turnovers in the final minute, including on an inbounds pass with one second left that gave Lindenwood another chance at victory.

Cheatham, Hauser come through in the clutch

With the game on the line, Marquette leaned on “Mr. Consistent,” Sam Hauser, who finished the game with 20 points and five rebounds. Junior guard Haanif Cheatham rebounded from a shoulder injury that kept him out of the exhibition game against UWM to chip in 17 points on five of 10 shooting. The two combined for 37 of Marquette’s 81 points on the afternoon.

Both players needed to step up because of an uncharacteristically sloppy performance from beyond the arc. Sophomore Markus Howard shot 0-of-7 on three-pointers; had this game counted, it would have been the first time he attempted more than one three-pointer and didn’t make any.

John plays sparingly in first half, misses second

Theo John played a total of four minutes in Saturday’s contest and had one rebound on the day. Head coach Steve Wojciechowski said after the game that John has not returned to full strength after injuring his ankle in practice.

“He’s had one full day of practice in the last week,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s just got to work himself back into shape after having to go through all of those days off and get his ankle better.”

Marquette will open its season Friday night against Mount St. Mary’s, a team that made the NCAA Tournament last year as a 16-seed and won its First Four matchup.

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