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The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

No. 3 Marquette gets back in the win column with 93-56 victory over Southern

First-year+guard+Tre+Norman+drives+to+the+hoop+in+No.+3+Marquettes+93-56+win+over+Southern.
Photo by Keifer Russell
First-year guard Tre Norman drives to the hoop in No. 3 Marquette’s 93-56 win over Southern.

No. 3 Marquette men’s basketball — at the start — gave truth to the colloquial notion the first post-Maui Invitational game is a “hangover game.”

“Just getting back to the timezone, couldn’t sleep the first couple of days,” junior forward David Joplin said.

For the first eight minutes Tuesday night, the Golden Eagles played sluggish and allowed the Southern Jaguars to make it a two-point game off back-to-back 3-pointers.

But Marquette (6-1) eventually woke up, getting their first skunk (six straight defensive stops) and opening the gap to over 10 points, en route to their 93-56 win over Southern (1-6) at Fiserv Forum.

“We were in Hawaii for a while so it’s great to be back,” Marquette head coach Shaka Smart said. “The guys’ bodies are just now kind of adjusting back to this timezone.

“So playing the game tonight was right on time for us, it was time to play again. We challenged the guys to play with an edge.”

Younger players spark response

When it was a four-point game in the first half, Smart made a drastic lineup change, bringing in first-years Tre Norman and Zaide Lowery, sophomores Ben Gold and Chase Ross and junior Stevie Mitchell.

While the game was close, four of the five Golden Eagles on the court were lower-level players.

“That’s the future. I was super excited to watch them play,” Joplin said. “We definitely got some dogs in the underclass and they’re going to learn so much, get so much better.”

It was after the lineup switch that Marquette got the first skunk of the game.

In the second half, Smart played sophomores Jones and Gold and all three first-years, making it an all-underclassmen lineup for the Golden Eagles for the final 8:37 of the game.

The young five got Marquette’s second skunk, went on an 11-0 run and held Southern scoreless for over three minutes to take a 41-point lead.

At the final buzzer, the three first-years played a collective 44 minutes. Amadou and Lowery finished with six points and Norman earned three assists.

“We already know they can play, but they’re showing that they can play our way and that’s what’s gonna get them in the game more and more,” Smart said. “That freshmen class, those three along with Caden Hamilton, we’re excited about their futures. They’re just getting started.

“And probably the best thing about games like tonight, is those guys get rewarded with more minutes than in some of the games we’ve been in recently.”

Amadou sees significant minutes

Amadou played a career-high 12 minutes. Through Marquette’s first six games, the 6-foot-9 forward had only seen the court for a combined six minutes.

In those opening games, Amadou showed a lot of bounce and his high-flying dunks. He did the same Tuesday, scoring all of his points off dunks, but he also got two blocks in a 10-second span, which Smart said stuck out to him the most.

“I was impressed with Al on defense. He has that in him,” Smart said. “He can get his hands on the basketball, the segment there where he had to two blocks was really impressive. He can switch in different situations for us, he can guard different positions.”

Statistical leaders

Senior guard Tyler Kolek led Marquette with 16 points, shooting 6-for-8 from the field and 4-for-5 from beyond the arc. He also dished out three assists. Junior guards Stevie Mitchell and Kam Jones also earned double-digit points with 15 and 11 respectively.

For Southern, first-year guard Jordan Johnson put up a game-high 21 points and earned five rebounds. By the end of the first half, Johnson was 6-for-8 from deep.

Kolek hits 1,000 collegiate points

Kolek came into the game with 999 college career points.

“When I heard about those numbers earlier this week, I just said ‘Wow.’ I mean, I’m a math guy, so immediately I started thinking about what he could get to by the end of his career,” Smart said.

Early into the first half, he scored a 3-pointer for his first points of the game, and 1,002 of his career.

Then, towards the end of the opening half, Kolek got two more catch-and-shoot 3-pointers in quick succession.

“You see him in the gym a lot of time, either before practice after practice and then later that night so no one is surprised,” Joplin said. “He works on that all day every day.”

After reaching the milestone, Kolek became the fifth Marquette player to surpass 1,000 assists and 500 assists.

Up next

Marquette faces in-state rival Wisconsin (5-2) Saturday morning at the Kohl Center in Madison. Tip-off is 11:30 a.m. CST.

“The atmosphere is going to be crazy,” Joplin said. “Thing we’ve been emphasizing the most recently is, the gladiators and the arena, and the crowd gets to say whatever they want, but they don’t put the jersey on, so we get to be the gladiators.”

This article was written by Jack Albright. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter/X @JackAlbrightMU.

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About the Contributors
Jack Albright, Executive Sports Editor
Jack Albright is a sophomore from Charlton, Massachusetts studying journalism. He is the Executive Sports Editor of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-24 school year. In his free time, Jack likes to hang out with friends and watch Formula 1. He is excited to write fun stories about all things Marquette athletics and oversee new types of digital content.
Keifer Russell, Staff Photographer
Keifer Russell is a junior from Whitefish Bay, Wisconsin studying digital media and public relations and is a Staff Photographer of the Marquette Wire for the 2023-2024 school year. Outside of the Wire he enjoys rock climbing, photography (figures), as well as finding and listening to new music. He is very excited to further refine his photographic content over the next year

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