Men’s basketball finishes its regular season on 3-game losing streak

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Photo by Jordan Johnson

Markus Howard (0) attempts a shot in Marquette’s win over St. John’s Jan. 21 at Fiserv Forum.

After losing a heartbreaker against DePaul Tuesday night, Marquette came into New York hoping to officially secure a first-round bye in the BIG EAST Tournament. But St. John’s had other plans, defeating the Golden Eagles 88-86 in the final regular-season match of the season.

MU will now have to rely on a Xavier loss against Butler to avoid playing in the first round of the conference tournament Wednesday. Tip-off between those teams is set for tonight at 7:30 p.m. Central Standard Time.

Marquette finishes under-.500 (8-10) in conference play for the first time since 2015-16 and the third time in the Steve Wojciechowski era.

It was all St. John’s to start the game. The Red Storm jumped out to a quick 12-0 lead in the first three minutes. After calling a timeout, the Golden Eagles marched back with a 16-2 run to grab their first lead of the match midway through the first half.

That lead didn’t last long though as SJU responded with a 12-3 run of its own and completely dominated the rest of the half. The Red Storm shot 57% from the floor and an absurd 58% from three. Marquette trailed 47-28 at halftime.

The second half saw a much closer battle between the two squads. MU slowly chipped its way back into the game and trailed by just nine points at the eight-minute mark.

The Golden Eagles came within two near the end of the game. After St. John’s missed two free throws in the finals seconds, Jamal Cain was able to collect the rebound but lost the ball shortly after, leading to another crushing loss for MU.

Marquette was ultimately unable to make key defensive stops late in the match.

Three Marquette players finished in double figures. Markus Howard led the way with a game-high 30 points on 8-for-16 shooting. Sacar Anim and Greg Elliot followed with 24 and 11 points, respectively.

For the Red Storm, four different players notched double-digit point totals. Julian Champagnie collected a team-high 21 points on 6-for-10 shooting.

Offensively, both teams shot relatively well. Marquette shot 45% from the field compared to St. John’s 48%. From beyond the arc, the Golden Eagles faired better shooting 48%, while the Red Storm shot 40%.

MU won the boards battle, outrebounding St. John’s 44-32.

Turnovers were an issue for the Golden Eagles in the first half as they finished with 14 but only committed six more the rest of the way.

Marquette (18-12, 8-10 BIG EAST) concludes its regular-season losing six of its final seven games.

This article was written by Tyler Peters. He can be reached at tyler.peters@marquette.edu or on Twitter @_tylerpeters_.