Howard scores 26, leads Marquette past North Dakota
MILWAUKEE — Markus Howard scored 26 points, including 19 over the final 10:22 of the first half to help stabilize No. 20 Marquette after a sloppy start Tuesday night in a 92-66 win over North Dakota.
Howard, a sharpshooting guard, was 9 of 13 from the field and 4 of 6 from behind the 3-point line. Sam Hauser added 21 points for Marquette (9-2).
The Golden Eagles used a 30-9 run over the final nine minutes of the first half to take control. Howard scored 14 straight for Marquette despite not taking his first shot until midway through the half.
Cortez Seales had 14 points and seven rebounds for North Dakota (6-6), which trailed by 22 at the break.
The Golden Eagles hadn’t played in 10 days because of final exams, and the rust showed at times. The normally loud Fiserv Forum was quieter with students on break.
Averaging 14.4 turnovers per game, Marquette had committed nine less than 11 minutes in.
Howard restored order at the arc.
The junior had a four-point play after hitting a 3 from the corner with 8:20 left in the first half. He followed with a step-back 3 from the wing 40 seconds later for a 26-20 lead.
Howard finished his 14-point spurt with another 3 with 6:09 remaining to put Marquette up by 11, well on its way to a sixth straight victory.
North Dakota can take some comfort in slicing into a 30-point deficit early in the second with a 13-0 run, which included a 3 and a jumper by Aenen Moody. He finished with seven points.
Filip Rebraca added 12 for North Dakota.
North Dakota: Chalk this night up as another learning experience for a team with 11 players on the roster who had never played in a college basketball game entering this season. The Fighting Hawks hung around while forcing nine turnovers over the first 10 minutes. But the deficit grew quickly once Howard got going from outside the arc because North Dakota couldn’t keep up, shooting 1 of 10 from 3-point territory in the first half.
Marquette: Howard went to the bench for a brief spell early in the game after appearing to hurt his upper left leg, but it didn’t seem to bother his shot. He was 7 of 9 in the first half, including 4 of 5 from 3-point range, to go with three rebounds, two assists and two steals. … Junior forward Ed Morrow, a transfer from Nebraska, had 18 points — his career high at Marquette. He was 8 of 12 from the field and grabbed eight rebounds.
North Dakota: At Northern Iowa on Saturday.
Marquette: Hosts No. 14 Buffalo on Friday.
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