Marquette Wire

Marquette crushes Wisconsin under onslaught of threes

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Markus Howard had 23 points, including 16 first-half points. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Markus Howard had 23 points, including 16 first-half points. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Photo by Maggie Bean

Photo by Maggie Bean

Markus Howard had 23 points, including 16 first-half points. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

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The 3-pointers wouldn’t stop coming.

Every time the Wisconsin Badgers showed signs of life and the 17,287-strong crowd at the Kohl Center rose to its feet, one of Marquette’s three sharpshooters – Andrew Rowsey, Markus Howard or Sam Hauser – would swish a 3-pointer, quieting the crowd. Even after the 10-minute mark, the last time the result was in doubt, the Golden Eagles kept making treys with pitiless efficiency.

“They made some tough shots,” Wisconsin head coach Greg Gard said. “They’ve done that all year. Watching their games, that’s how they play. When they’re on and they have that much space … that puts a lot of pressure on your defense.”

Shooting 14 of 22 from beyond the arc was more than enough for Marquette to rout Wisconsin, 82-63. It was the program’s most lopsided win against Wisconsin since 1982 and the biggest win in Madison since 1958.

“Our guys showed great poise from the very beginning and maintained that throughout the 40 minutes,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “It was as good of a 40 minutes as we’ve had all season, and we knew it was going to take one of those to walk out of here with a win.”

Guards D’Mitrik Trice (foot) and Kobe King (knee) were declared out indefinitely with injuries, leaving the Badgers shorthanded. Marquette wasted no time stretching the Badgers’ perimeter defense; Rowsey made a 3-pointer to start the scoring and within seven minutes, the Golden Eagles stretched their lead to double digits.

It was an up-and-down game for Rowsey, who scored six points in the first seven minutes, but was taken out of the game at the 12:41 mark after receiving a technical foul for shoving Wisconsin’s Aaron Moesch.

“One of the players just kept jawing in my ear and I shoved him, which I shouldn’t have done,” Rowsey said. “It was just the heat of the moment.”

Wojo was clearly far more upset with his own player. “He shouldn’t have done it,” Wojo said. “Period.”

Rowsey later picked up a third foul, missing the last eight minutes of the first half and the first minute of the second half.

When Rowsey re-entered the game, he asserted control, scoring 18 points and making a trio of three-pointers. He also knocked down a jumper immediately following a layup from Wisconsin center Ethan Happ, which cut Marquette’s lead to only six. Rowsey finished with a team-high 24 points, only six shy of his Marquette career-high.

In the period of time when Rowsey was on the bench, Howard took over. The sophomore ended the game with 23 points. Sixteen of them came in the first half. After draining a three-pointer to put Marquette up 31-17, Howard ran down the floor with his pointer finger pressed to his lips, telling the once-energized Kohl Center crowd to be quiet.

“I’m a competitor,” Howard said. “I wear my heart on my sleeve and my emotions just took over at that point. (The student section) had been talking to me throughout warmups and throughout the whole game, so I was just trying to make it a little fun.”

Later on, with the game well in hand, Howard launched a contested shot from approximately 26 feet away at the end of the shot clock and made it. As he strode back on defense, Howard moved his finger across his neck in a “throat cut” gesture, then threw a wink and a smirk at Wisconsin’s bench.

“I was kind of giving them looks,” Howard said. “But that’s part of the game. I have nothing but the utmost respect for Wisconsin and their fan base.”

Fellow sophomore Sam Hauser, a Stevens Point, Wisconsin native, had a late birthday gift one day after turning 20 years old. Hauser added 16 points, including four 3-pointers.

“This is a big game for (Sam) because of a lot of personal reasons,” Rowsey said. “Sam’s a great player and it’s a lot of fun to play with him because he opens up a lot of stuff for me, and he opens up a lot of stuff for our team. When he’s able to knock down shots like that … the sky is the limit.”

When the final horn sounded, Rowsey, Howard and the rest of the Golden Eagles mobbed Hauser.

“We were just saying, ‘Happy birthday,” Rowsey said.

Meanwhile a “We are Marquette” chant emanated the Kohl Center from clusters of Marquette fans throughout the stadium. They, too, were celebrating a birthday: the 100th anniversary of the first Marquette-Wisconsin game.

It was exactly the gift Marquette fans wanted.

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