CHARLESTON, S.C.- Darryl Morsell scored 22 points, Justin Lewis added a career-best 21 points and nine rebounds and Marquette beat Mississippi 78-72 Thursday night in the opening round of the Charleston Classic.
Marquette plays West Virginia in the semifinals, and OIe Miss takes on Elon in the loser’s bracket, on Friday.
Lewis hit a career-high five of Marquette’s 13 3-pointers and Morsell made 9 of 10 from the foul line, where the Golden Eagles shot 90% (17 of 19). Ole Miss (2-1) made just 6 of 15 free throws.
Marquette (4-0), coming off a win over No. 10 Illinois last Monday, made just two of its first 10 shots and trailed 17-5 about 6 minutes in, but David Joplin hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to cut the deficit to five at the break. Lewis scored the Golden Eagles’ first 11 second-half points, including a pair of 3s 27 seconds apart before Morsell added another to give them their first lead of the game at 47-46 with 13:13 to go.
There were six lead changes and four ties before Lewis and Joplin each hit a 3-pointer in a 10-1 spurt that gave Marquette the lead for good at 67-60 with 3:55 to go.
Morsell, a fifth-year graduate transfer from Maryland, has scored at least 21 points in each game this season. The 6-foot-5 guard, who was the Big Ten player of the year last season, never had a 20-point game in four years with the Terrapins.
Jarkel Joiner and Nysier Brooks scored 13 points apiece and Jaemyn Brakefield added 11 for Ole Miss.
Marquette scored 17 points off 11 Rebels turnovers and added 14 second-chance points of just six offensive rebounds.
Freshman Cam Johnson, who scored 15 points in the first three games of the season, had 18 points for the Golden Eagles.