Marquette came out sluggish, and found themselves down by 11 midway through the first half before eventually getting back into the game.
The second half was similar, though, and Marquette traded blows with the mid-major squad. The Golden Eagles needed a pair of Sam Hauser free throws with nine seconds left to even get to overtime.
All’s well that ends well, right? Marquette got it together and pulled out an 86-83 victory in overtime.
Hauser led the way with a career-high 30 points, 22 of which came in the second half or overtime. On a night where Markus Howard (14 points, 5-11 from the field) and Andrew Rowsey (16 points, 3-8 from the field) struggled, the Stevens Point native saved the Golden Eagles from a brutal loss.
Credit to Eastern Illinois, who gave Marquette a bigger scare than anyone could have imagined. Jajuan Starks had a career-high 27 points and eight rebounds in 42 minutes of action.
After the game, Steve Wojciechowski addressed the other big story of the day: Haanif Cheatham’s Marquette departure.
Wojo said Cheatham wants to be home and closer to family. Also wishes good health to all he loves. #mubb— Dan Pfeifer (@MUPfeif) November 28, 2017
Marquette improves to 4-2 on the year and hosts Chicago State Wednesday night.