A full-tilt offensive performance powered Marquette to an 80-66 road win Thursday evening at Bishop Noll. For the second straight outing, the Blazers’ starting five hashed out double-digit point totals. And while Monday’s trek to Lake County resulted in a setback, tonight’s return trip guaranteed Marquette’s eighth winning season of the past decade.
Junior Kaden Manna marshaled the scoring attack for Marquette with 23 points. Thursday represented the 12th time in the last 13 games in which he has scored in double figures. Sophomore Lukas Balling tallied 17 points, including 13 in the first half.
Balling helped spark a strong start for the Blazers. He had seven in the first quarter while classmate Gary Lewis tossed in four. Junior Brit Harris nailed his first of three treys on the night as Marquette led 17-16 after one period.
The Blazers were a well-oiled machine in the second quarter and were rewarded with a 39-26 halftime lead. Each starter accounted for at least one field goal, including Harris and Lewis, who both drained shots from the perimeter. Balling recorded two and-1s as Marquette outscored Bishop Noll, 22-10.
Manna, who had seven points at the break, erupted for 10 more in the third quarter. He knocked down a pair of triples, sank two free-throws, and added a basket inside the arc. Meanwhile, Harris drilled another three-pointer to help himself into double figures.
Marquette went to work inside the paint in the fourth quarter, racking up 11 two-point field goals. Sophomore Jason Kobe thrived in transition, scoring six to post a 12-point line. Manna added six of his own to conclude the night with 23 points. Harris and Lewis ended with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
The Sectional 33 corridor of Marquette’s schedule continues next Tuesday when Illiana Christian visits the Scholl Center. The Blazers (13-6) and Vikings (11-5) are set to square off at 7 pm.