Howard scores 40 of his 45 in second half, lifts No. 20 Marquette past No. 14 Buffalo

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MILWAUKEE (AP) — Markus Howard scored 40 of his 45 points in the second half as No. 20 Marquette pulled away to hand No. 14 Buffalo its first loss of the season, 103-85 on Friday night.

Sam Hauser added 18 points for the Golden Eagles (10-2), who hit seven 3-pointers during a second-half surge that turned a 52-49 deficit into an 85-68 lead.

Howard, just 1 of 7 with one 3-pointer in the first half, finished 12 of 25 from the field. He was 9 of 13 from beyond the arc and 12 of 12 of from the line as Marquette improved to 9-0 at home.

Jeremy Harris had 22 points, Dontay Caruthers scored 20 and CJ Massinburg added 18 for the Bulls (11-1), whose season-opening run was their best since 1930-31.

Marquette, which trailed by as many as nine in the first half, used a 16-3 run to open a 65-55 lead with 12:16 remaining. Hauser and Howard capped the run with back-to-back 3-pointers.

The Bulls pulled within 67-65 on a free throw by Nick Perkins, but the Golden Eagles ran the lead to 79-65 when Howard was fouled on a 3-pointer and added the free throw.

The Bulls, coming off their first victory over Syracuse in 55 years, were hot early, opening a 19-10 lead on the strength of four 3-pointers.

Jayvon Graves’ dunk put Buffalo up 27-23, but Joey Hauser, a 6-foot-9 freshman forward and Sam Hauser’s younger brother, hit three consecutive 3-pointers — all of his first-half points — to give the Golden Eagles their first lead at 32-27.

Howard hit a pair of free throws with four seconds left to put Marquette up 39-38 at the break.

Buffalo hit 6 of its first 11 shots but went just 7 of 23 for the remainder of the half.

Marquette out-rebounded the Bulls 27-16 in the first half, including 16 offensive rebounds, en route to a 13-0 advantage in second-chance points.

BIG PICTURE

Buffalo: The Bulls close out their nonconference schedule at Canisius, and then open Mid-American Conference play on Jan. 4 at Eastern Michigan.

Marquette: The Golden Eagles have one more nonconference game before opening Big East play at St. John’s on Jan. 1.