Marquette Wire

Elliott impacts all areas in Marquette win over St. John’s

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Freshman guard Greg Elliott scored 11 points in place of injured guard Markus Howard. Marquette went on to win 85-73 over St. John's

Freshman guard Greg Elliott scored 11 points in place of injured guard Markus Howard. Marquette went on to win 85-73 over St. John's

Photo by Helen Dudley

Photo by Helen Dudley

Freshman guard Greg Elliott scored 11 points in place of injured guard Markus Howard. Marquette went on to win 85-73 over St. John's

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Marquette needed an emphatic response with its sophomore guard and leading scorer Markus Howard out with a hip contusion. They got it with an impressive 85-73 victory over the St. John’s Red Storm Wednesday night at the BMO Harris Bradley Center.

In its second straight win, Marquette (16-11, 7-8 in BIG EAST) leaned on sharpshooter Sam Hauser, who finished with 24 points, and senior Andrew Rowsey, who finished with 19. Freshman Jamal Cain added 11 points.

However, it was freshman guard Greg Elliott, who started for the injured Howard, that made the biggest difference. Elliott finished the night with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, including a 3-pointer. He contributed on defense as well, grabbing five rebounds, two steals and a block in 28 minutes of action.

Head coach Steve Wojciechowski felt that Elliott made a significant leap forward.

“I thought (Elliott) played a terrific overall game,” Wojo said. “I don’t think there was any area of the game that he didn’t impact, defensively, offensively, whether it was scoring, distributing (or) rebounding. He had his fingerprints on the complete game and Greg’s capable of doing that.”

Wojo was also impressed with redshirt sophomore Sacar Anim’s ability to drive. This was his second straight game with double figures, scoring 11 points.

“As the season has gone on, (Anim) has gotten more comfortable and is being more aggressive,” Wojo said. “In the last six or seven games, he’s averaged double figures for us. Sacar’s a good player and I think he’s gaining more confidence by the day and has really stepped up for us in a number of ways.”

In Marquette’s last game against St. John’s, sophomore guard Shamorie Ponds went for 44 points in a record-breaking performance. It was a different story Wednesday; he was held below his BIG EAST average, finishing with 19 points on just 5-of-18 shooting.

Hauser attributed stopping Ponds to playing zone defense. “I think it was a good way to switch up the rhythm,” Hauser said. “It was a good way to throw them off a little bit here and there. We had to keep him on his toes and switching up (our) defense really helped us doing that.”

The Golden Eagles went 12-of-26 from the field in the first half and 9-of-11 from the charity stripe. A Cain 3-pointer in the closing seconds gave Marquette a 38-34 halftime lead.

In the second half, Hauser scored seven points in the first five minutes to continue to pad Marquette’s lead. Hauser finished the half with 16 points on a 4-of-6 effort from beyond the arc.

Freshman Bryan Trimble Jr. was a factor for St. John’s, scoring 19 points on 7-of-9 shooting. Junior Marvin Clark II finished with 12.

Wojo did not offer any more information on Howard’s status for Sunday’s game against DePaul.

“His health is our primary concern and I’ll follow the direction of the doctors and trainers,” Wojo said. “I don’t know when he’ll be back.”

Marquette will square off against the last-place DePaul Blue Demons Saturday in Wintrust Arena. Tipoff is at 11:30 a.m.

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