MILWAUKEE — Markus Howard scored 21 points and Marquette jumped out to a big lead early and held off UTEP 76-69 on Tuesday night.
Howard, coming off a homecourt record 45-point effort in Marquette’s 83-71 victory over No. 12 Kansas State, hit all seven of his free throws and added five assists.
Freshman Joey Hauser scored 15 on 5-of-5 shooting from the floor for the Golden Eagles (7-2), while Sacar Anim pitched in 14 points and six boards.
Sam Hauser had eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists, but he missed all six of his 3-point attempts as the Golden Eagles made just 18 percent (4 of 22) from distance.
Marquette jumped out to a 15-3 lead in the first 7:20 of the game. Freshman Jordan Lathon kept UTEP (3-5) within striking distance in the first half, scoring 15 of his career-high 26 points to pull the Miners within 37-30 at intermission.
Lathon’s first points of second half pulled UTEP within 60-56 with 6:56 left to play. Howard followed with a 3-point play and the Golden Eagles stayed in front from there.
The two teams were playing for the second time. Marquette, now 6-0 at home, beat UTEP 77-65 in 1965.
Next up for Marquette is a matchup with rival Wisconsin on Saturday. The Badgers enter the game ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.
Marquette defeated Wisconsin 82-63 last season in Madison, and will look to defend its home court this time around. Howard scored 23 points and grabbed seven rebounds to power the Golden Eagles in last season’s rivalry win.
Tipoff is set for 4 p.m.