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Grambling State vs. Marquette recap: Golden Eagles roll over Tigers

Hot shooting Marquette torches Grambling State behind five double-digit scorers.

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

From the outset of Marquette's 95-49 win Wednesday night, it was abundantly clear that Grambling State didn't really belong on the court with the Golden Eagles.

The game was, at points, hard to watch. Grambling State fell behind 14-0, and didn't score for nearly the first seven minutes of action. With six minutes to go in the half, Marquette led 38 to 8.

The Golden Eagles redeemed the game from a neutral standpoint by putting on a truly impressive shooting display. They shot 58 percent from the field and made 13-of-21 three-pointers. That last part is especially astounding, considering for all intents and purposes, this was a bad three-point shooting team coming into Wednesday.

A big factor in that improvement was JaJuan Johnson. Over the summer, Johnson rebuilt his shooting form into a more conventional-looking stroke. That was supposed to help him bounce back from a 22 percent sophomore season from beyond the arc, but it hadn't really showed in the first six games.

On Wednesday, Johnson took nine shots and made eight of them. He made all four of his threes, and established himself as a force to be reckoned with on corner triples. Johnson finished with a season-high 20 points just days after the passing of his grandfather bumped him from Marquette's rotation temporarily.

Freshman phenom Henry Ellenson put together another quietly solid stat line, contributing 16 points, eight rebounds and three blocks. He also made three-pointers on consecutive possessions in the second half.

Luke Fischer had an efficient 14 points in just 21 minutes, but turned the ball over four times. Duane Wilson and Sandy Cohen added 11 and 10 points respectively, and Traci Carter dished out 10 assists.

The numbers on offense weren't pretty for the Tigers. They shot 26 percent from the field as a team, including a dismal 5-for-25 from deep. Only one player made at least four field goals for the Tigers, and that was freshman guard Nigel Ribiero, who was also the only Grambling State player in double figures with 16 points. No player on Grambling State had an offensive rating higher than 76 on KenPom, while no Marquette player had one lower than 96.

The Golden Eagles next face the Black Bears of Maine Saturday at the Bradley Center.