Marquette responds to Tuesday’s loss with a blowout win over LIU

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Photo by Forster Goodrich

Sophomore forward David Joplin looks to make a pass in Marquette men’s basketball’s 95-58 win over LIU Nov. 17 at Fiserv Forum.

While donning the Nike N7 turquoise uniforms for Native American Heritage Night the Marquette men’s basketball team responded to their Tuesday loss at Purdue with a 95-58 win over LIU.

“It was exciting to see our guys so happy to be out there playing together,” head coach Shaka Smart said. “It was great to getting back on a court just a couple days after the Purdue game.”

Junior forward Olivier-Maxence Prosper was firing on all cylinders offensively, scoring a career high 31 points.

“I just let the game come to me,” Prosper said.

Marquette opened the game scoring the first five points and took an 11-4 lead into the under-16 media timeout. The scoring was spread out amongst Prosper, junior forward Oso Ighodaro and sophomore guard Kam Jones.

The Golden Eagles leading scorer, sophomore forward David Joplin came into the game following the timeout and got to work quick scoring eight points heading into the under-12 media timeout with six of them coming from deep and two at the charity stripe.

“Jop (Joplin) has kind of established himself as the sixth man who comes in and he’s ready to score, he’s ready to shoot,” Smart said.

Prosper was a driving force as the Golden Eagles got out to a 33-21 lead. Prosper scored eight straight points for Marquette including four free-throws.

Marquette continued to put pressure on LIU, getting out to a 22-point lead with the help of a 10-0 run with 3:59 left in the half. The Golden Eagles finished out the half with a 47-24 lead while shooting 14-for-30 from the field and 4-for-16 from deep. Marquette also had 18 attempts from the free throw line, connecting on 15 of them.

LIU shot 9-for-33 in the half and 3-for-11 from deep.

The Sharks out-rebounded Marquette in the half 24-18.

“That’s a stat that we monitor throughout the game. They really did a good offensive rebounding the first 10 minutes of the game. At one point we were down 12 on the glass and we just said ‘guys we’ve out-rebounded every team we’ve played, we have to even this thing out and get ahead,'” Smart said.

Prosper and Joplin led the way in scoring for both teams heading into the break with Prosper scoring 13 and Joplin having 12 points.

Marquette opened the second half on an 11-2 scoring run to lead 58-25.

The Golden Eagles continued putting points on the board in a hurry and with the help of a dunk from Prosper which set his career-high gave them a 73-38 lead. The remainder of the half was much of the same as Marquette won 95-68.

Marquette made 34 shots on 29 assists in the win.

“Tyler (Kolek) and Oso (Ighodaro) really set the tone with that,” Smart said. “We’re a much better team  when the ball is moving and we’re creating for each other.”

Leading the way for Marquette on the night was Proper who finished with 31 points, one rebound and one steal. Prosper went 11-for-12 from the field, 3-for-3 from 3-point range and 6-for-7 from the free throw line, missing two shots on the night.

As a team Marquette shot 34-for-68 from the field, 11-for-35 from 3-point range and 16-for-20 from the free throw line while LIU shot 20-for-63 from the field, 7-for-23 from 3-point range and 11-for-20 from the free throw line.

Sophomore guard Marko Maletic led the Sharks with 22 points, three rebounds, one steal and one assist.

Jones also contributed to Marquette’s win with 13 points, five rebounds, three steals and three assists.

Marquette (3-1) will be back on the road for their next game on Monday when they head to Fort Meyers, Florida to play in the Rocket Mortgage Tip-Off. They’ll play Mississippi State at 7:30 p.m. CST on FS1.

“We’re going to have to have the mentality of going out there starting with the defensive end and going at their necks,” Prosper said. “It doesn’t matter who we play we’re going to go out there and we’re going to give everything we have.”

This story was written by Ben Schultz. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @benschultz52.