Men’s basketball uses 88-51 exhibition win as tune-up for regular season

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Men’s basketball uses 88-51 exhibition win as tune-up for regular season

Koby McEwen looks to pass the ball to a teammate.

Koby McEwen looks to pass the ball to a teammate.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Koby McEwen looks to pass the ball to a teammate.

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Photo by Jordan Johnson

Koby McEwen looks to pass the ball to a teammate.

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Just like the late-arriving crowd at Fiserv Forum Tuesday night, Marquette’s offense was a little slow to turn out against St. Norbert before eventually coming through with a 88-51 rout of the Green Knights.

The Golden Eagles started the game shooting two for eight before then hitting their next six shots. MU shot 62% from the field after the 14-minute mark in the first half.

“We played great tonight, but I think we could’ve came out a little stronger,” redshirt senior Ed Morrow said. “We were playing up tense, but that’s mainly (because) it’s the first game at Fiserv.”

St. Norbert stuck around for much of the first half, but the Green Knights could not keep up with MU’s 10-0 run later in the half. The Green Knights never cut the Golden Eagles’ lead to fewer than nine after that.

Morrow said the team also messed up a lot of plays.

“Our execution can still get better,” Wojciechowski said. “The thing I love about how we’re attacking on the offensive end is, number one, we’ve been very unselfish. Guys are, at times, almost over-passing.”

Marquette had 23 assists, compared to only 11 turnovers.

“We can clean some of (those turnovers) up because they’re fundamental mistakes,” Wojciechowski said. “But our ball security was good on the offensive end.”

Redshirt junior Koby McEwen led the Golden Eagles with 14 in his first game in a Marquette uniform. He sat out last year after transferring from Utah State.

“I’ve been excited for Koby to come back since his redshirt year,” Morrow said. “I was hoping he could’ve played last year if it was my decision. Koby, he’s a great player. He brings a lot of energy to our team. … He’s going to be a big part of what we have going on.”

Morrow nearly notched a double-double, clinching 10 points and nine rebounds.

Sophomore forward Brendan Bailey left Fiserv Forum with double-digit point totals. Wojciechowski attributed Bailey’s increased confidence to more time on the floor.

“He definitely has more confidence today than he did 12 months ago,” Wojciechowski said. “He’s finally had a year to get his feet under him.”

Senior guard Markus Howard had only four first-half points before heating up in the second half. He finished with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting and four rebounds.

Freshmen Symir Torrence and Dexter Akanno made their unofficial Marquette debuts Tuesday. Torrence scored three points and four rebounds. Meanwhile, Akanno scored two points but picked up three fouls in a 42-second span in the second half.

Center Jayce Johnson missed Tuesday’s game with a knee injury. Wojciechowski said he does not have a timetable for Johnson’s return.

Johnson’s absence limited how much Marquette could play two post players at one time. Theo John also quickly found himself in foul trouble, picking up his third foul early in the second half.

“If we keep getting in foul trouble like that, we won’t see (two post players at the same time) very often,” Wojciechowski said.

Marquette will have a week to make some tune-ups before its home opener against Loyola Maryland Nov. 5. Tipoff is at 7 p.m. Central Standard Time.

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