No. 20 Marquette showed no signs of rust after taking nine days off for final exams, never trailing against North Dakota in a 92-66 win at Fiserv Forum last night.
After making just seven of 29 shots in Marquette's win over Wisconsin Dec. 8, Markus Howard found the going much easier against the Fighting Hawks, going 7-for-9 in a 19 point first half and finishing with 26 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Sam Hauser benefited from the time off, hitting as many threes, five, as he had in his past four games, scoring 21 points in the process. Ed Morrow, Jr., went 8-for-12 off the bench and posted a season-high 18 points.
Marquette (9-2) did a lot of things right in the first half, shooting 64 percent as a team, going 7-for-12 from outside and outrebounding the Hawks by a 24-13 margin. Sam's freshman brother, Joey, had six of those 24 first-half rebounds and 10 for the game to go along with six assists and five points. North Dakota (6-6) would trail by no less than 18 points at any point in the second half as MU cruised to the finish.
After the game, Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski announced that guard Greg Elliott will redshirt this season. Elliott had thumb surgery in October and while he had been seen practicing in recent days, but will instead look to retain his sophomore status for the 2019-20 season. He won the team's Most Improved Player award last season while averaging 4.5 points and 2.3 rebounds per game as a freshman.
Marquette gets two days to prepare for its third top-15 ranked opponent in its last five home games, No. 14 Buffalo, Friday night. The Golden Eagles will try to remain unbeaten at Fiserv Forum in a game that will tip at 7:30 p.m.
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