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Marquette picks up 76-69 victory over UTEP

The Golden Eagles were a little sluggish from the field, but picked up the win anyway.

NCAA Basketball: Texas-El Paso at Marquette Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Despite going 4-for-22 from the 3-point arc, the Marquette Golden Eagles pulled out a win on Tuesday night. The Golden Eagles defeated the UTEP Miners 76-69 at Fiserv Forum in Milwaukee, as they improved to 7-2 on the year with their fourth straight win.

The Golden Eagles defense held UTEP to 69 points and under 45 percent from the field. They shot just 6-for-20 from 3-point land and 42.4 percent from the floor in general. UTEP couldn’t make much from the FT line, although their 68.4 percent mark bested Marquette’s 66.7 percent mark from the FT line. It marked the fifth time this season that MU has held the opponent to under 70 points in a game.

The game was never particularly in doubt. Marquette held a 17-9 edge after the first 10 minutes and walked into the half with a 37-30 lead. UTEP scored only 17 points in the first 10 minutes of the second half to MU’s 19, and while they were edged out 22-20 in the final stanza, they still pulled off the seven-point victory. Which of course, interestingly enough, was how much they led at the half.

Markus Howard once again led the way in points. While Howard’s performance wasn’t nearly as great as the one he turned in against the Kansas State Wildcats, he still put up 21 points. He shot 6-for-17 from the field and 2-for-8 from beyond the 3-point line, but was a perfect 7-for-7 from the free throw line. Howard added five assists to his line along with three boards and a steal and just two turnovers in 38 minutes.

Two other Marquette players got into double figures. Those players were Sacar Anim and Joey Hauser. Anim had 14 points on a mark of 6-for-9 from the field, while Hauser had 15 and was perfect from the field, going 5-for-5. He only missed at the FT line, going 4-for-7 on his freebies. The 14 points for Anim was a great follow up to the 16 points he put up against K-State over the weekend. Hauser hit double figures for the fifth time this season, but his 15 points did not best his season-high of 18 against the Indiana Hoosiers last month.

Jordan Lathon was a monster for UTEP despite the loss. Lathon had 26 points, a high on both sides, and was 8-for-11 from the field including a mark of 3-for-4 from the 3-point line. He also went 7-for-10 from the free throw line, had three boards, six assists, two steals and only one turnover despite playing 36 minutes. Tip your cap to Jordan Lathon, who balled out in a big way. Evan Gilyard and Efe Odigie joined him in double figures.

Marquette can now turn their attention to their arch rivals, the Wisconsin Badgers, who come to Milwaukee on Saturday. The Badgers are 8-1 so far with their lone loss coming against the Virginia Cavaliers. With Ethan Happ playing lights out basketball and his costars performing at a high level too, it will be an intriguing matchup at Fiserv, to be sure.