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Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Big second half, Hauser threes help Marquette avoid upset on Dwyane Wade Day

Meghan Rock and Jack Phillips
Photo by Andrew Himmelberg

Marquette men’s basketball certainly has no lack of drama, completing its third second-half comeback in the last four games.

This time, the Golden Eagles took down the Providence Friars 79-68 Sunday afternoon at Fiserv Forum.

For the second time in a row, junior forward Sam Hauser was at the heart of the win. He scored 25 points on 8-for-13 shooting.

“These last two games, he really stepped up for us in a monumental way,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “We don’t even come close to winning this game without Sam Hauser.”

Marquette outscored Providence 54-35 in the second half to fuel the comeback win. Juniors Sam Hauser and Markus Howard were especially dangerous, scoring a combined 34 points after halftime on 8-for-13 shooting.

Sam Hauser’s outstanding second half included a few well-timed baskets. His 3-pointer at the 5:17 mark expanded Marquette’s lead to 61-56. Later in the half, his three with 2:35 remaining stretched Marquette’s lead to 11 and helped clinch the team’s fifth consecutive win.

Sam Hauser’s big scoring performance came five days after recording a career-high 31 points against the Hoyas Tuesday.

“Sam is one of the top players in the country,” Wojciechowski said.

The Stevens Point, Wisconsin, native was quick to deflect credit for the win.

“In the second half, a lot of guys stepped up,” Hauser said. “It just shows a lot about who we are and what we’re striving to be.”

Howard finished with 24 points and nine rebounds Sunday despite suffering a lower back injury Tuesday at Georgetown. Howard did most of his damage from the free-throw line, where he was 14 for 16. He did not do as well from the field, where he was 4 of 15.

“Providence is good, and those kids can defend,” Wojciechowski said. “You’re not going to have your typical shooting day.”

Freshman forward Joey Hauser also made a few key plays down the stretch, finishing with 11 points and four rebounds. His brother Sam assisted on five of those 11 points.

“It’s a proud brother-to-brother moment right there,” Sam Hauser said.

Marquette’s win came despite a forgettable first-half shooting performance, as the team went 7 for 25 from the field.

“Give Providence credit,” Wojciechowski said. “They out-worked, out-competed and out-executed us in the first half by a wide margin, and we were very fortunate to only be down by eight points at halftime.”

The only player to hit a field goal during a 10-minute stretch of the first half was Sam Hauser.

The Friars outrebounded the Golden Eagles 27-14 in the first half, resulting in a 10-0 advantage in second-chance points. That trend continued in the second half, as the Friars had a 43-31 advantage in rebounding and a 40-22 advantage in points in the paint.

“This was 100 percent a winnable basketball game on the road,” Providence head coach Ed Cooley said. “But they made shots when we didn’t. They made free throws where we didn’t. And they executed where we didn’t.”

Providence sophomore center Nate Watson was at the heart of the Friars’ post attack, scoring a team-high 21 points while grabbing six boards.

“(Watson) is a hell of a player,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s a big-time player. He’s wide, he’s strong, he plays really hard and they did a really nice job of feeding him. … He’s a handful.”

Wojciechowski was hardly satisfied with the win.

“I didn’t do a good enough job preparing our team,” Wojciechowski said. “We can do better.”

Marquette will look to stay undefeated at Fiserv Forum Wednesday against DePaul. Marquette has won five of its last six games against the Blue Demons. It will be the first of three games in an eight-day span.

“We have to get to work tomorrow and get to practice and prepare for an outstanding DePaul team,” Wojciechowski said. “(DePaul) could very easily have the same record as us. … We have to stay in the moment.”

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