Howard brothers break NCAA record, Golden Eagles outlast NDSU

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Photo by John Steppe

With five 3-pointers Friday night, Markus Howard ties Steve Novak's record of 354 career threes.

Aimee Galaszewski

It was another record-breaking night for senior guard Markus Howard. With 32 points in Marquette’s 82-68 victory over North Dakota State University, Howard and his brother Jordan became the NCAA’s top-scoring brother duo.

“When I think of where basketball has taken me, I think of my brothers. … He’s my biggest role model,” Markus said. “For our names to be in the record books for something that we’ve shared together is truly a blessing. Probably one of the biggest blessings I could ever receive in the game of basketball.”

Though Jordan may be thousands of miles away in Korea, Markus said he will be the first one t0 tell his brother.

“That’s something we talked about prior to the season so the fact that it’s actually a realization now is awesome,” Markus said.

The Howard brothers surpass the NBA’s Stephen and Seth Curry, achieving the accolade with 4,738 points. Stephen played for Davidson, while Seth suited up for Liberty and Duke. Now Steph is a star for the Golden State Warriors and Seth starts for the Dallas Mavericks.

“I coached half of the Curry duo in Seth while he was at Duke and coached against Stephen. Obviously both of those guys are crazy good,” Marquette head coach Steve Wojciechowski said. “For Jordan and Markus to break that record is absolutely incredible. Put it in the long line of things Markus and his brother have been able to accomplish as college basketball players.”

However, the win wasn’t always promising. Neither team claimed a lead higher than five points for the majority of the first half. MU’s biggest advantage came at the 6:51 mark when the Golden Eagles led 31-21.

“They play a very unusual style,” Wojciechowski said. “One of their best shooters is their center and one of their best playmakers is their power forward. They present a lot of problems.”

Despite a three-minute scoring drought and being two of their last 10 shots, the Golden Eagles went into the half leading 38-36. Marquette played stout defense with six blocks in the first half.

The Bison were shooting 55% from beyond the arc in the first half. NDSU ended 10-for-25 from three.

“They’re an unbelievable 3-point shooting team,” Markus said. “In the first half, we were kind of feeling our way into how we were playing defensively, so we had to make an adjustment and we really did that in the second half. … Not giving them as much space on their 3-point shots.”

What changed in the second half was the Golden Eagles’ defense, limiting the Bison to making just 12 shots.

“That’s a good team,” redshirt junior Koby McEwen said. “They really space the floor so it’s hard to guard. … It all came down to stops at the end. Just buckling down and staying in front of the ball and getting the rebound and taking our time to get in a good shot.”

Once MU reached a 65-60 advantage, the momentum shifted and the Golden Eagles started pulling away, eventually ending in a 82-68 win.

“Over the course of 40 minutes, we wore them down to where the last eight minutes of the game, the cumulative effect of our defense paid off,” Wojciechowski said.

Three days after recording a season-high 27 assists, Marquette wasn’t afraid to share the ball and notched 14 assists. Seven players finished with at least four points. Sacar Anim contributed 14 points on 6-for-10 shooting including 2-for-3 from beyond the arc.

Marquette (9-2) has over a week off for Christmas before hosting Jordan’s alma mater, Central Arkansas, Dec. 28 at Fiserv Forum. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m.

“That’s very important to me that (the players) get home and enjoy their family,” Wojciechowski said. “While we’ve over break, I’ll start to study Central Arkansas a little bit better. The one thing we did well tonight and the last two games, we were (41-23) assists to turnovers, and we need to continue that trend.”

 

This story was written by Zoe Comerford. She can be reached at isabel.comerford@marquette.edu or on Twitter @zoe_comerford.