Marquette held on for a 76-69 victory over UTEP last night at Fiserv Forum, just four days removed from its upset win over then-12th-ranked Kansas State. Marquette survived the "trap game" before its rivalry matchup with now-12th-ranked Wisconsin, though it saw a 17-point lead shrink to as little as four in under seven minutes' time in the second half.
It was an uncharacteristic night for the usually sound-shooting but often defensively challenged Marquette, as they won with help from some unlikely sources and fairly solid D. Markus Howard, fresh from a 45-point performance Saturday that won him BIG EAST Player of the Week honors, led Marquette with 21 points, but went just 6-of-17 from the field and 2-for-8 from three-point territory, getting seven of his 21 points at the free-throw line. Sam Hauser also struggled with his shot, missing each of the six threes he took despite going 4-for-4 inside the arc and collecting 10 rebounds. Sam's younger brother, Joey, however, hit all five of his shots en route to 15 points, while Sacar Anim scored 14 on 6-of-9 shooting.
Marquette hit just four threes as a team, two in each half, shooting 18 percent for the game and 17 percent in the second half from outside. However, UTEP didn't fare much better on the whole, never led and couldn't overcome a start in which Marquette took a 15-3 lead just over seven minutes into the game.
Marquette does not play again until it faces Wisconsin Saturday at 4 p.m. in the first meeting of the two teams at the Bucks' new arena.
Videos: Marquette Golden Eagles