The matchup between Ja Morant and Markus Howard become a blowout.
Morant and Howard each impressed at totally different occasions throughout their sport Thursday. However, in the long run, Morant’s Murray State workforce cruised to a straightforward 83-64 win over Marquette and Howard within the Spherical of 64.
Morant and three different Murray State gamers reached double figures, led by 19 from Tevin Brown. Freshman ahead KJ Williams chipped in 16.
Listed here are three takeaways from Thursday’s marquee matchup:
Morant is the true deal
Ja Morant dominated throughout his first sport on faculty basketball’s largest stage in 2018-19.
Marquette had no solutions for the 6-Three guard. He managed the tempo and imposed his will because the Racers pulled away early within the second half.
Morant showcased each facet of his offensive skillset within the victory. He completed with 17 factors on 5-of-9 taking pictures, 16 assists and 11 rebounds.
It was the primary triple-double recorded within the NCAA Event since 2012.
Ja Morant with the triple-double. ???pic.twitter.com/p7ffdDBl0W
— Sporting Information (@sportingnews) March 21, 2019
Morant has been inconsistent from behind the 3-point line however he knocked down each of his photographs from that distance in opposition to Marquette. He entered the sport taking pictures 33.6 p.c from deep in 2018-19.
The sophomore is projected to be a top-5 decide within the 2019 NBA Draft and he lived as much as the hype Thursday.
Story of two halves for Howard
Howard got here out firing and carried Marquette offensively within the sport’s opening moments as he scored 16 factors earlier than the break.
— NCAA March Insanity (@marchmadness) March 21, 2019
The junior, nonetheless, handled foul bother during the last 5 minutes of the primary interval and by no means actually discovered a rhythm after halftime, which allowed Murray State to construct an enormous lead.
In whole, Howard completed with 26 factors however he was inefficient as he shot simply 9 of 27 from the sphere and four of 14 from 3-point vary. He additionally didn’t make an impression elsewhere. He recorded simply two rebounds and two assists.
Howard was one of the thrilling gamers within the nation this season, however he wasn’t at his greatest Thursday.
Murray State has an opportunity to succeed in a minimum of the second weekend
Murray State is positioned to make a run.
The Racers will face No. four Florida State, who held on for a victory in opposition to Vermont earlier within the day, within the Spherical of 32 on Saturday. They’re positively able to pulling off the upset and advancing to the Candy 16.
Murray State could have the perfect participant on the ground in nearly each sport it performs, which may make all of the distinction in a single-elimination match.
Florida State shouldn’t underestimate the Racers.