Marquette overcomes foul trouble to beat Davidson in Orlando Invitational

Markus Howard dribbles the ball in Marquette's  73-63 win over Davidson in Orlando. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

Markus Howard dribbles the ball in Marquette's 73-63 win over Davidson in Orlando. (Photo courtesy of Marquette Athletics.)

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Marquette men’s basketball used a productive second half to beat the Davidson Wildcats 73-63 in its first game at the Orlando Invitational.

Senior guard Markus Howard once again provided the heroics for MU, leading the team with 40 points. The next highest scorer for Marquette was redshirt senior guard Sacar Anim, who had 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Davidson started strong, getting out to a 12-7 advantage. Meanwhile, Marquette’s offensive production was anemic for large stretches of the first half, at one point going more than five minutes without a field goal. The Golden Eagles shot 24% from the field in the half. It allowed Davidson to take a 26-25 lead at halftime.

The second half was a much different story. MU scored 48 points in the second half to secure the win. The Golden Eagles had a relatively clean second half, committing only five turnovers.

Howard scored 25 of those points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and 4-for-6 shooting from 3-point range.

Foul trouble plagued both teams, who finished with a combined 49 fouls. Sophomore forward Brendan Bailey and junior forward Theo John fouled out toward the end of the second half. Graduate student center Jayce Johnson did not foul out, but he picked up four fouls in just 15 minutes on the floor.

Marquette had 38 attempts from the free-throw line.

The Golden Eagles limited the Wildcats’ opportunities from the perimeter, holding Davidson to no 3-pointers Thursday night.

However, the Wildcats shot 45% from the field and had a 34-14 advantage in paint scoring. Marquette had no answers for Kellan Grady, who scored a team-high 28 points on 11-for-18 shooting.

Marquette now leads Davidson 3-1 in the all-time series between the two teams. It was the first matchup since the 2013 NCAA Tournament, which Marquette won 59-58.

The Golden Eagles (4-1) look to continue their win streak Friday against either University of Southern California or Fairfield College. If the team faces USC, this would be the first Marquette-USC matchup since 2012.

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