Armed with a starting lineup that included four players making their first career start, Marquette played with crosstown rival Michigan City for three quarters Saturday night its season opener. A 32-14 game-closing period tilted the final the Wolves’ way to the tune of an 85-56 count.
Sophomore Brit Harris (19), senior Jake Tarnow (15), and freshman Gary Lewis (11) all finished in double figures in a rowdy and raucous environment that provided a strong first test for a young Marquette squad.
Saturday’s game was slow to develop as both sides struggled to find their offensive stride out of the gate. A 7-6 MC lead six minutes in expanded to 17-9 by quarter’s end. Harris accounted for eight of the Blazers’ nine.
Five Marquette players contributed in the scoring column during the second period. Tarnow kickstarted an 8-2 blitz in the early stages while Lewis scored four of the team’s last six points heading into halftime. Harris had 10 at the intermission while Lewis followed with six as Marquette trailed 28-23.
Freshman Jason Kobe and senior Vaunte Johnson helped launch a game-tying scoring run to open the third quarter. A Tarnow trey at the 6:20 mark tied the tilt at 31-all; however, the Wolves created separation over the final 95 seconds of the third via a 10-2 surge.
Michigan City’s size and depth enabled that offensive flurry to reach 27-5 before the Wolves held a comfortable lead with four minutes to play.
Harris and Tarnow both scored seven points in the fourth quarter.
While Tarnow has served as a regular in the rotation the last two seasons, the majority of Marquette’s scoring came from players logging their first substantial varsity minutes.
The Blazers (0-1) return to the Scholl Center Tuesday evening to host Portage Christian in a varsity-only showdown at 6 pm.