Blue, Gardner lead Marquette over Mississippi State

Fitzgerald Cecilio – 4E Sports Reporter

Maui, HI, United States (4E Sports) – Junior guard Vander Blue fired 18 markers and Davante Gardner added 15 points off the bench as Marquette scored its first win in the Maui Invitational, routing Mississippi State, 89-62, Tuesday at Lahaina Civic Center.

Blue made eight of 12 shots and had three assists while Gardner hauled 12 boards as the Golden Eagles (3-1) bounced back from a shocking 72-71 loss to Butler in their opening game at the tournament.

Trent Lockett scored 13 points and Jamil Wilson added 11 for the Golden Eagles, who prevailed over the Bulldogs in their first-ever meeting.

Fred Thomas scored 17 points and Roquez Johnson added 16 markers and eight caroms for the Bulldogs, who dropped to 1-3.

The Golden Eagles buried 37 of 71 shots for a 52.1 percent clip from the field while the Bulldogs shot an anemic 20-for-52 for 38.5 percent.

Marquette outplayed Mississippi on all fronts, grabbing more 32-28, and issuing more assists, 18-7. The Golden Eagles also had more steals, 14-6, and had lesser turnovers, 12 to 22.

The Golden Eagles started the game with an 8-0 run but the Bulldogs responded with two straight baskets to cut the lead.

Marquette, however, answered with 10 straight points behind three-pointers by Lockett ad Jake Thomas and layups by Gardner and Jamil Wilson for an 18-4 cushion.

Blue then scored nine straight points and Jamal Ferguson added a layup to pad their lead to 43-20, with less than three minutes left in the first half.

In the second half, Blue buried a jumper to give Marquette a 54-30 lead and the Golden Eagles were never threatened from there.

The Golden Eagles will face the winner of Tuesday’s Texas-USC showdown for fifth place in the eight-team tournament.

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