MILWAUKEE — Markus Howard scored 45 points and went 19 of 21 from the foul line, and Marquette used tight defense to counter Kansas State’s in-your-face play in an 83-71 victory on Saturday, handing the 12th-ranked Wildcats their first loss.
Sacar Anim added 16 points for the Golden Eagles (6-2), who didn’t back down from the physical Wildcats. Marquette outrebounded Kansas State 34-25 and kept attacking the rim in holding a double-digit lead for most of the second half.
Howard’s productive day from the field (11 of 17) helped Marquette overcome 20 turnovers. The quick junior drew a foul on a drive with 7:57 left to send Kansas State leading scorer Dean Wade (16.2 points) to the bench with five fouls and 11 points.
It was a disappointing homecoming for Wildcats coach Bruce Weber, who was born in Milwaukee and watched Marquette games in the 1970s when the team was led by Hall of Fame coach Al McGuire.
Playing its first true road game against its toughest foe of the young season, Kansas State saw its defense falter. Marquette shot 57 percent from the field, about 20 points higher than what Kansas State (6-1) was allowing coming into the afternoon.
Marquette used runs of 10-0 and 9-0 to build an 11-point lead after the first half, when Kansas State went without a field goal for a 10-minute stretch. A poor-shooting team from the perimeter, the Wildcats allowed too many points on the break, where they were outscored 17-6, to keep up with the Golden Eagles.
Kansas State: Barry Brown, the team’s second-leading scorer (15.7 points) and steals leader (13), was limited to nine minutes after picking up three fouls, including a technical, in a tightly called first half. Leading 20-17 at the time, the Wildcats were outscored 27-16 the rest of the half with Brown on the bench. Forward Xavier Sneed, who finished with 12 points, played only five minutes in the first after picking up two fouls. The pace picked up for Kansas State early in the second half before Howard spearheaded more runs to keep the Wildcats at bay.
Marquette: Howard scored 26 points in the first half, pacing the team with aggressive play. His quickness and 3-point shooting prowess made him tough to defend, going 6 of 7 from the field alone in the first half, including 3 of 4 from behind the arc, along with 11 of 12 from the foul line. Howard didn’t let up after halftime, scoring eight points in 4 minutes with Carter Diarra trying to guard him.