NCAAB: Marquette’s defense leads to win over Chicago State

Down by six about midway through the first half, host Marquette cranked up its defense and transition game to claim an 82-68 non-conference victory Saturday night in Milwaukee.

Junior Olivier-Maxence Prosper recorded his first double-double with 18 points and 11 rebounds for the Golden Eagles (5-2), who forced 20 turnovers and scored 35 fast-break points as they prepared for home games this week against No. 7 Baylor and in-state rival Wisconsin.

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Kam Jones added 15 points and Oso Ighodaro contributed 13 points and three blocks for Marquette.

Wesley Cardet Jr. paced Chicago State (2-6) with 18 points, while Jahsean Corbett contributed 11 points and 10 rebounds. The Cougars have lost all six of their road games by double-digit margins.

Both teams got off to hot starts as Chicago State canned six of its first 10 shots and Marquette hit five of its first nine as the Cougars built a 15-13 lead by the first media timeout.

Along the way, Chicago State reeled off a 9-0 run — triggered by a Cardet 3-pointer and capped by Deshawn Jean-Charles’ post move — to take a 19-13 lead with 12:10 left in the first half.

Marquette ratcheted up its defensive pressure — and its presence on the offensive boards — to regain a 26-25 lead on Tyler Kolek’s 3-pointer with 7:46 left. Earlier, Kolek feding Ighodaro for a dunk while Stevie Mitchell threw an alley-oop to Prosper for another dunk.

Over a nine-minute stretch, the Golden Eagles forced seven of Chicago State’s 10 first-half turnovers. The Cougars had to score four points in the final minute to pull within 40-33 at the break.

The Golden Eagles removed all suspense by scoring the first 10 points of the second half. Kolek instigated the run with three free throws, then Prosper laid in a putback, Kam Jones sank two free throws, Sean Jones added a driving layup and Prosper hit a free throw.

Chicago State missed nine shots and committed six turnovers before finally earning its first field goal of the second half on Faheim Meran’s driving layup with 12:28 left that cut Marquette’s margin to 54-38.

The Golden Eagles pushed their lead to as much as 22 points, but the Cougars reeled off 12 points in under two minutes and pulled within 74-63 on a pair of free throws by Elijah Weaver with 4:44 left.

Chicago State had possession with a chance to get within single digits, but Prosper challenged Corbett’s driving layup and forced him to hit nothing but glass.

–Field Level Media

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