Marquette held Kansas State to 9-for-34, 27-percent shooting in the first half as it took a 39-26 lead into halftime and beat the Wildcats, 73-65, Saturday night at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan, Kan.
Senior preseason All-American Markus Howard returned to the lineup after missing Marquette’s last game against Jacksonville while in concussion protocol Tuesday. He scored 19 points to lead all scorers, but Marquette (7-2), which has had to rely on big scoring performances from Howard to win a number of games during his career, got a more-complete effort from Howard’s teammates offensively in the win. Junior Jamal Cain scored a career-high 17 points off the bench and grabbed a team-high nine rebounds in 34 minutes, adding a highlight-reel putback dunk late in the contest to cement the victory. Senior Sacar Anim added 13 points while leading the team with 37 minutes played.
While Kansas State (5-3) only turned the ball over six times in the first half, they simply couldn’t get shots to fall, no matter how covered — or open — they were. The Wildcats had four separate stretches of the half where they went at least two and a half minutes without a basket, the longest being almost five minutes between the 13:01 and 9:08 marks. In that span, K-State missed six shots, three of which were layups. While the Wildcats would pull within one on a Levi Stockard III basket with 12:55 left in the second half, they wouldn’t retake the lead at any point in the period. The result: Kansas State’s first non-conference loss at the arena nicknamed “The Octagon of Doom” since the Wildcats fell to Georgia, 50-46, on Dec. 31, 2014. Cartier Diarra led Kansas State in scoring with 14 points, though he only hit 3-of-12 shots.
Marquette will now take the next week off to allow its student-athletes to focus on final exams before facing Grambling State at 7 p.m. on Dec. 17 at Fiserv Forum.
Video: Stadium Sports